Friday, August 14, 2009

Redundant (adj). See "Ford".

Long-time readers of my site or this blog will know I'm not one for nanny cars. So it should come as no surprise to find that I'm appalled by what I found when looking through the Acura brochures recently. Specifically, 2010 Acura MDX is able to use its GPS to determine the location of the sun in relation to the car, which it then uses to adapt the climate control to blow cooler on the sunny side of the vehicle. Tell me: how much extra technology (in terms of motors, sensors, processors etc) did it take to make this happen? What's wrong with an analogue heat control and a knob to tell the system where to blow the air?
It's like adaptive cruise control, auto brakes, blind spot sensors, auto windscreen wipers and auto lights - all technologies designed to prevent the driver from having to use a consistently high level of attention to pilot their 2 ton weapon. Instead, people are being coccooned from the outside world and pampered to in the worst way possible. Why do none of the manufacturers understand that this causes more accidents? The more people are isolated from the act of driving, the lazier and more dangerous they become. Or is this the backdoor way of "proving" that we all need autopiloted cars? Make cars so dangerous and people so irresponsible that the only option is to take all control away from us to make us "safe" again? Puh-lease.
But the award for the most retarded and redundant car accessory this year? Well that goes to Ford with their 2010 Mustang GT. Sports car it certainly is not, but to make it sound more like a sports car, they've added sound pipes - an extra pipe from the exhaust that is routed up around the inside of the dash to bring engine sound into the cabin. Umm. Surely if they hadn't added all the extra sound deadening in first place, they wouldn't need the extra pipe so you could hear the engine? Plus the weight loss from throwing away the extra plumbing and sound deadening would lighten the car significantly and make it more sporty to drive, and more sporty to listen to.
Insulating you from the engine noise, then deliberately adding complexity to bring the engine noise into the cabin. Genius.

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