"I was just using my ipad!"

Technology in Cars

"I was just using my ipad!"I love cars. I love the freedom they bring, I love the arguing about almost every aspect of cars. I like getting dirty and working on cars, sometimes I do them both at the same time. But there’s one thing I’m really on the fence about: Technology in cars. Sure, there’s some definite good, but there’s some definite dumb. This isn’t limited to just technophobes trying to get acquainted with a new phone at 70mph, this is regarding everyone and their ability to keep their damn cars on the road. It is almost explicitly aimed at anyone who started driving in the past 5 years.  You are about to witness what is essentially me arguing with myself via keyboard. Grab some popcorn, hombres.

I see you rolling up your window, douche.

First, the obvious: Defining “tech” For the sake of this rant, it is computer based electronics, to include radio communications devices. Point number two: Without a certain amount of  tech, cars would still be carbureted, and you’d be reaching across the car to roll up that passenger side window when you pull up next to a bum on the corner. That’d be just too obvious, now wouldn’t it? Fuel injection has given us a power and fuel economy boost that would never be possible with carburetors. I’m talking about Navitainment systems (what a stupid word), OnStar, BlueTooth, Blue&Me, et cetera.

As many of you know, I drive a Jeep Wrangler. It has a CD player that accepts USB drives and has a 3.5mm jack input. It cost $79. That is the extent of my tech. I purchased a GPS and it sits patiently on my night stand. My dashboard has a digital odometer, and that’s it. But I love gadgets, so why don’t I pimp it out? Well, for one, I can’t use my phone at speeds above 35mph, because it’s loud, and that’s with the top on. Two, it’s got a cloth top and zippers for windows. Theft proof, it ain’t.

Yet when I ride in my wife’s late-model Malibu, I love fiddling with the info center. I check her tire pressure – both cold and after a few miles – as well as the temperature outside (like it matters) and the instant mpg, which is like my father telling me to slow the hell down. I hook my phone up to the stereo and play music. I can do this in my Jeep, but I rarely do, because I feel like I’m distracted. But in the widebodied Malibu, I’ll fiddle all day. Yes, I am a more careless driver in the car with better safety features.

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