Automotive Infotainment Grows Up


Captain Hybrid

But is it Better?

11/18/2011 7:21:12 AM

I read the article and all of the accomopanying posts (to this point) and have yet to see how this really makes the vehicle better. Will all of these toys make the vehicle last longer? Get better mileage? Handle better in snow, rain or other hazardous driving conditions?

Autonomous driving? How is that going to work unless all vehicles are so equipped? What computer programming is going to account for a 16 year-old driver doing something stupid to impress a carload of kids? Until all vehicles are driving autonomously, I do not think any can safely anywhere other than a test track.

Rather than spend millions of dollars on electronic toys to amuse the driver, how about spending aome time designing an engine where I can get at the spark plugs. Or a body than can survive a 10mph rear ending without costing thousands to repair.

You may find this hard to believe, but I have been driving for almost 50 years and have never had the need to check e-mails or download a game. video or some fancy app while tooling down the road.

Re: Telematics, not infotainment

Beth Stackpole  
11/18/2011 6:56:07 AM

I would step foot in the car as a novelty and perhaps on a trip that’s straight and narrow–a highway jaunt where you sometimes rely on Cruise Control. That said, I’d still act like I was in the driver’s seat.

That’s the thing with Cruise Control–you’re still acting like you’re at the wheel and giving the drive your attention. With autonomous driving, it seems like you’re encouraged to do other things–eat, text, email. That just doesn’t seem right. If you don’t want to drive (as Rob says), take the bus, hop a train, call a cab.

Re: Telematics, not infotainment

Charles Murray  
11/17/2011 9:19:01 PM

Regarding the generational aspect: I couldn’t agree more, Rob. I remember my father saying he would never trust a car without a clutch. Before him, I’m sure there were family members who said they would never set foot in an airplane. That said, I wouldn’t set foot in an autonomous vehicle.

Re: Telematics, not infotainment

Rob Spiegel  
11/17/2011 3:43:17 PM

You’re right, Chuck, it may take time for us to accept autonomous driving, but the technology is already there. The Google car you mentioned actually drove from Google’s headquarters in the Valley down to the Google office in L.A., so the car knows how to handle roads that remain a challenge for me.

The acceptance will come generationally, like most technology acceptance. I may feel uncomfortable about autonomous driving, but my 15-year-old daughter would embrace it quickly. She doesn’t want to drive, she wants to text.

Re: Several competing threads

Rob Spiegel  
11/17/2011 3:36:36 PM

RadioGuy, I think number 2 — using the cell phone — is the logical way to go. And yes, cell phone companies will want to charge for the extended bandwidth use. But anyone who has a teenager is already paying the additional fees.

Cell phones are moving at a quick speed to add functionality and speed. Seems that’s the logical tool, since it leads the mobile world and there is sufficient competition in cell phones to ensure ongoing development.