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June 19, 2013

Comments

Angelo

I like I-Pads, smart phones, my Blackberry...not intimidated much by technology. But I hate the gadgets and push for techie gadgets in our cars. I want a safe car that is responsive, fun to drive---it doesn't need to be loaded down with this garbage.

Bill

I don't see the point of it. So I can push a button in a new car, say "Turn on the radio," and the radio comes on. Swell. But in my current car, I push a button and the radio comes on right away. I don't have to say a thing. How does a voice command improve anything?

herculodge

I second the remarks of Angelo and Bill and I go out of my way to NOT buy cars saddled with stupid gadgetry.

Gary

Also, it's been shown that all of this gadgetry makes driving less safe, because drivers concentrate on the gadgets rather than on driving.

StarHalo

Stupid gadgetry is just about all that sells cars anymore; once we arrive at fully autonomous cars (which is not that far off and very much inevitable,) gadgets will be the only thing that sells cars - if you're not driving, and the car is always driving peaceably and respectfully, then the weight distribution/torque spread/wheel feedback/etc. won't matter anymore, it'll be the display size(s), the audio system, the apps...

The AMC Eagle unwittingly became the example for the crossover craze of the '00s, but from here on out, it's the Toyota Prius; the transportation appliance defined exclusively by up-to-the-minute interior tech.

Angelo

StarHalo: It's funny that you mention the Prius. I have one (a company car assigned to me). It's fine. It's an appliance---and it works okay. But one "advancement" for cars/driving that I think is tremendous is GPS. That's something we really need----sure beats pulling out and unfolding a huge, fragile map and trying to focus on tiny print on the map while driving---I prefer the soothing voice on the GPS telling me where to turn next. But the factory GPS in my Prius is laughable. It's been lousy since day one----just a crappy system. Claims that streets that have been there for decades are "not in that city" and also claims that house numbers that have been there for decades "are not on that street." It was a very expensive option too---and my $125.00 Magellan run circles around it. The resale value for cars could suffer when "technology" items become an old albatross taking up space on your dashboard. In contrast----a '63 Corvette or my '79 Monza or '93 BMW are cars----to drive----not weighed down with garbage.

StarHalo

Angelo: There won't be a standalone GPS navigator in near-future cars, just iOS; you'll ask Siri to take you somewhere and the car will simply go there. Now imagine yourself as a car salesman pitching this car to a customer versus a non-autonomous car - "You just tell this car where you want to go and sit back and browse the web, make some calls, watch a movie, whatever you'd like. There's also this car over here that doesn't do any of that, you have to drive it, but it's very sporty." Which car will virtually all new car buyers go for?

Stephen

But what about when (not if) there's a failure in the automatic driving technology? I would hope people would know how to take manual control. Also modern aircraft have autopilot, but there still has to be trained and licensed pilots at the controls.

When I'm driving, I like to have as few distractions as possible. I often poke along on the freeway at about 75 ±5 in town, or 85 ±10 in rural areas (and I've hit 100-120 once or twice in my mom's Accord coming south on I-15 between Temecula and Escondido), and need to concentrate on my driving.

I generally avoid using my Android phone (Galaxy S Relay 4G) when driving, except when I'm at a stoplight, or to use Google Maps to find an alternate route when I'm stopped in thick traffic.

When I hopefully can afford my own car, I want a safe economical & hopefully inexpensive one, probably a 10-15 year old Honda or Toyota. I do NOT want a touch screen on the radio, although it might be OK on GPS as long as I can operate it by feel, without looking at it.

As for the car radio, I'd want one whose selectivity far surpass the Tecsun DSP radios, and sensitivity wipes the floor with the Superradio. A station that's inaudible on the SR3 should have high enough SNR on the car radio to make you think it's in HD lock, even with a first-adjacent so strong that it overloads a PL-398mp so badly it's completely blocking (no audio on channel).
A satisfactory radio would enable clear midday full-NRSC-analog-bandwidth reception of KSL (assuming XEQIN was off the air) while next to KCBQ's site when the Q's signal is as strong as http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fEMLcEqCu3E :)

Angelo

Some trips, I'd love to let the car do the driving. But at times----I want the satisfaction of driving the car myself. Winding roads, sunroof open----I love driving, especially a responsive, enjoyable car.

Bill

I just sprung for a nice little tablet that has GPS, my whole record collection, cellular data capacity to stream Internet radio, and whatever else I might want to add.

I think that if you want all of those things in a car, it makes more sense to have them on a tablet you carry with you than it does to have them built into the car itself.

You get the newest technology sooner in a tablet than you do from the automakers, who have to decide those features some years in advance. (Apologies to the person whose note I can't find, who mentioned that on this site before I did.) A good tablet costs less than a car's nav system and does more. If it fries you can replace it, or ship it off for repair, without having your car in the shop. Five years from now, when your nav system is hopelessly outdated, the tablet user can replace it by buying a new tablet, or perhaps merely by installing a new application on an old one. For the guy who bought the factory system, the solution is to replace the entire nav-radio-computer-heater/ac control unit, or maybe replace the whole car. A rather expensive way to update a few computer chips!

Tablets just make sense as the container for all these various (wince, I hate the word) infotainment features. All you need to do is equip the car radio to use Bluetooth. Or if that's too gadgety for you, just give the car radio a line in jack.

Angelo

Bill: Everything you say makes sense. The problem is that some car makers (probably most, if not all) want to stuff the technology in the car so they can say they have it----even if it doesn't make too much sense to the owner. It does make for some great advertising. It just seems that the more time they spend on these things that a notebook can do better anyway---the less time they spend on the reasons that I like cars---driving response, safety, reliability...

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