Out of the Wild

Watch: Bus made famous by "Into the Wild" removed from Alaskan wilderness via helicopter

The Alaska Army National Guard removed "Bus 142" from the wilderness this week.

Alaska Army National Guard courtesy video by UH-60 Black Hawk crew chief, Staff Sgt. Sonny Cooper

The bus made famous by Jon Krakauer's nonfiction book, "Into the Wild", and the 2007 movie of the same name was removed from the Alaskan wilderness this week via helicopter.

On Thursday, Alaska Army National Guard soldiers assigned to the 1st Battalion, 207th Aviation Regiment, executed an extraction mission to remove "Bus 142" from its position on the Stampede Trail using a CH-47 Chinook helicopter.

"Bus 142" is a 1946 International Harvester K-5 that was parked near Denali National Park. The K-5 had a steel chassis and 9,300-pound payload capacity when new. "Bus 142" was originally owned by the Yutan Construction Company and was used to transport construction crews from Fairbanks to the Stampede Trail during a road upgrades project in 1960 and 1961.

Over the years, the bus's engine was removed and it was towed using two Caterpillar D8 bulldozers but eventually gained a broken axle. Crews installed a wood-burning stove and beds, using it for shelter. Later in its life, the K-5 became a shelter for trappers and hunters.

After graduating from Emory University in 1990, Chris McCandless had become a wanderer. In April 1992 he began a histhchiking journey in South Dakota that would lead him to Alaska. In May he set up camp at "Bus 142" where he stayed for two months before attempting to find a way out of the wilderness. He was unable to do so and returned to the K-5.

The journal that McCandless kept during his travels became source material for "Into the Wild". The journal chronicles 112 days of entires with the last week's worth describing how McCandless is weak, hungry, and in need of assistance.

Into the Wild movie poster "Into the Wild" featured an image of the bus in its poster, which was distributed to movie theaters nationwide.Movie poster courtesy of Paramount Vantage

In September 1992, McCandless was found dead in this sleeping bag by a group of hunters who sought refuge in the bus during an excision.

The 1996 non-fiction book is an expanded form of the 9,000-word article Krakauer wrote about the journey of McCandless titled "Death of an Innocent", which appeared in "Outside" magazine in January 1993.

After the publication of the article and novel, and especially after the release of the movie, the bus became a tourist attraction. Its location along the Stampede Trail in the Denali Borough of Alaska, near Healy, had been the site of numerous emergency rescues over the years.

The over 47-mile trail began as a mining road in 1903 and for years was commonly used for winter sports recreation. Some of the first eight miles is paved or gravel road but then the trail descends into pathways only reachable by foot or ATV.

The bus will be stored at a secure site with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources considers options for its permanent resting place.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The teaser image of the 2027 Kia lineup includes numerous cars and SUVs.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia has revealed plans to launch seven new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) by 2027 in numerous segments. The first, code named CV, will launch in 2021 and serve as the kickoff to a new Kia design direction. The move is known internally as the “Plan S" strategy. Under Plan S, Kia's BEV line will include 11 models by 2025.

The announcement coincides with the company's stated goal of having 25 percent of Kia's global sales come from BEVs by 2029. To do that, the company plans to work to expand the world's electric vehicle (EV) charging network. Kia has sold over 100,000 BEVs worldwide since the company introduced its first model in 2011, the Kia Ray.

Kia Ray EV 2011 The Kia Ray was the company's first production EV.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Plan S includes a company-wide business transformation that will include production, sales, and services. Dealerships will likely be required too invest in equipment to handle the influx of EVs. In the U.S, Kia will increase the number of EV work bays at dealerships to 600 by the end of 2020 and increase the number to more than 2,000 by 2023..

The product plan includes a diverse number of models. The vehicles will include BEVs that are “suitable for urban centers, long-range journeys, and performance driving". They will be based on the company's new adaptable Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). The platform will allow for best-in-class interior spaciousness, according to Kia.

Though subscription services have not gained widespread popularity in the U.S., the company is exploring the creation of subscription services, as well as EV battery leasing and rental programs. Other “second life" battery-related businesses may be part of the plan as well.

Kia also plans to add around 500 charging stations in North America, partnering with its dealer networks. Further, the company is seeking a partner in North America to support a larger infrastructure buildout.

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The new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross used the Internet of Things to connect to the My Mitsubishi Connect app

Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors North Americ

Mitsubishi has enlisted Aeris and Dealer-FX to better connect owners to their vehicles. Using integrations with the Aeris Mobility Services and Dealer-FX ONE platforms, the My Mitsubishi Connect mobile app will now enable Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross drivers to view real-time service and maintenance needs, as reported by their vehicles.

The system will push timely notifications from the vehicle to the app and the owner's smart mobile device allowing them to act in a matter of seconds rather than trying to remember that a warning light cane in while operating the vehicle.

"Mitsubishi customers are dreamers, achievers, entrepreneurs – active in their communities and in their family homes, and their time is extremely valuable," said Mark Chaffin, Chief Operating Officer of MMNA. "The My Mitsubishi Connect app allows us to enhance their experience, be more efficient with their time and continue to demonstrate our commitment to delivering high quality, top value vehicles with leading-edge technology in the U.S."

This isn't the company's first IoT foray. When it debuted, Mitsubishi Road Assist+ was the first hardware-free, smartphone-based app provided by an OEM that allowed owners to realize the cost savings of usage-based insurance without having to own "connected car" with built-in telematics capabilities or aftermarket-installed telematics hardware.

Mitsubishi continues to grow its presence in the U.S. market. The company recently relocated its headquarters from California to the Nashville, Tennessee area near where Renault-Nissan- Mitsubishi Alliance member Nissan has its North American headquarters.

The company recently announced a partnership with the Nashville Entrepreneur Center to create the Small Batch - Big Ideas Entrepreneur Network, which gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn from Mitsubishi executives, among other benefits.

The My Mitsubishi Connect and Mitsubishi Road Assist+ apps are currently available on the Google Play store and the Apple's App Store for use on Android and iOS devices.

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