Fact: Twenty percent of the price of a new car is for the software.
Monday I take my seven-year-old car in to have the front end repaired. I hit a cement block in a local garage because my car didn’t let me know that it was there. It tore off the bumper and part of the grill. As you can see from the image on the left, hitting things head on is a recurring problem.
If I had an Internet ready car, it would have warned me. It would also have checked me in on Foursquare so that people would know where I was. It might have taken an Instagram image of the dangerous cement block so that others would be aware of it.
Looks like we can’t escape. The reason I’m still driving a seven-year old car is that it’s an Audi S4 Avant six speed. You can’t buy them in America anymore. You can’t even get an A4 wagon without settling for an automatic. If you like driving, you don’t have many options these days.
But if you don’t like driving, life on the road will soon be grand. Your car will know traffic conditions before you go anywhere. Since it will have access to your calendar, it will let you know if you need to leave earlier than planned to make that meeting or if you can continue tweeting from the office instead of from the road. You’ll be able to tweet from the road because your dashboard will be an over-sized digital touch screen from which you can update your status, check your Gmail, and access your friends’ playlists on Spotify.
For me the best part will be the satellite connection that informs every McDonald’s I drive by that I’m in the vicinity, so it can send me real-time offers based on how many people are in my car. The heat sensors in the seats will let the cloud know if there are passengers occupying the back seat or just luggage. And if they include digital scales as part of the system McDonald’s will even know if the car’s occupants are candidates for a Super Size meal or just a burger and fries.
Better yet, if the car can drive itself – inevitable within 10 years, I’m told – I can simply push the steering wheel out of the way and fire up the grill and deep fryer and make my own lunch. Then I can even share what I’m eating for lunch on Twitter. From my car. While I’m not driving.
Have you ordered your Internet ready car?
Recommended song for this post: Baby you can drive my car.