Monday, October 31, 2011

Having a computer run my car ? NO THANKS.....

This cartoon states a simple truism. I really, really, really don't want a computer running my car.

I am not against technology as I adore the gadgets and whizz-bang new things we have now that allow us to have a computer in our pockets BUT does it really need to be in control of my car?

It became an issue for me when they pushed the ONSTAR feature for GM cars. I understood early on that this gave someone else control over where I was, where I was going and how fast the car was being driven. Not only that, but they can remotely disable your car and bring it to a stop ( the feature was designed to stop a car thief but it doesn't have to be used for that reason only.)

Now, I understand that there are real practical uses for this technology. Businesses can keep track of their workers, salesmen can have a mobile office and work from their cars, etc., etc. The key issue is that they have not publicized the "negative" aspects of the features, only the positive ones. It is not honest and there should be a full overview of how they can also control your vehicle whenever they want to and you will not be able to override it.

This also covers the HYBRID cars....aren't we great ?? We are saving the world.

Not so fast. Hybrid use less gas BUT the factories that produce the batteries needed create 10 times the pollution that a normal car would produce over it's life time. I may be no math whiz but that formula doesn't work....the Toyota Prius is worse for the environment than a regular vehicle. And here's the other surprise.

The battery pack in that hybrid lasts about 100,000 miles - then it must be replaced. Guess what ?? If you don't, you can't drive the car. It won't work.

Cost for the replacement ?? $4000. That means you own the car, you can drive the car BUT to continue past a certain point, you must cough up and additional FOUR GRAND to keep driving it, along with all the other normal maintenance.

I may not be Albert Einstein but this makes no sense what so ever.

I say keep the computer where it needs to be, separate from my vehicle, and I'll be just fine. I am sure like anything else the auto manufacturers make, the computers will break down after 7-9 years and good luck when that need to be repaired. The extra cost associated with having all this whiz-bang in your vehicle far outweighs any benefit you gain. I can get a low-cost iphone and it will do all the things the car's computer can do and more.....and an upgrade is cheap (in comparison to what the auto dealers will want to upgrade your car.)

It is an individual choice but I feel that having a computer run your car is a bad decision. Stick with what works and pull the plug on " HAL " running your wheels. We all saw what happened in the movie 2001 when they put the computer in charge of the vehicle.

1 comment:

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