Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Rise Of The Machines

In a series of continuing updates to the internal combustion transport that still refuses to make them fly, car makers are adding more and more "soft technology." What do I mean? How about a car that parks itself? Feel free to text your friends while your Toyota Prius completes its docking maneuvers. There's a new BMW feature out there that will keep you from wandering into someone else's lane. It figures that those Germans would want to keep everyone in line. And yet they refuse to commit to the vision of Caractacus Potts and build a flying car.
Ford wants all of its new cars to turn themselves off at stop lights. No more idling at the drive-through window. Waiting outside your friend's house while he goes inside to find your Linkin Park CD? Then park yourself and your car will tell you when your engine has been sitting there doing nothing long enough. You don't need to warm up your car. My wife is so very happy.
Me? Not so much. Here in America, cars have always been a symbol of our freedom. If Thomas Jefferson had been able to envision a 1969 Dodge Charger, I'm pretty sure the Second Amendment would have included the right to bear monster-honkin' street rods. The open road, the feel of the wind in your face, Fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor. That's what being an American is all about.
And now, our own government wants to stick a sensor in all new cars that will decide whether we are too drunk to drive. This might lead to a new distinction for all parties: designated breather. Maybe this is just the way the cyborgs creep into our world and slowly dismantle our way of life. Or perhaps this is the way the machines help us make it to the next generation. I might suggest an intermediary step: Having an OnStar function that will automatically call your bail bondsman when you get pulled over.


Anonymous said...

Well played with fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor--very subtle. But why no hyperlinks? We're not all gearheads like your son and my husband...some of us need the Google.


Spiraling Music said...

The fun really ended when they made kids wear seatbelts, in my opinion. The best moments of my childhood were spent with my head out the sunroof.