Cars have come a long way since the days when they ran on four hooves and were called "horses." Since then, we've innovated the electric motor, fuel injection and decorative rubber scrotums. What could possibly be left?
Unfortunately, as you'll soon find out, quite a bit. A whole lot of computerized wizardry is coming to your car, and some of it will make your life a living hell.
#6. Car Ringtones
For every new technology, there's some busybody utterly terrified it'll commit mass murder. There were probably people campaigning against the dangerous, untested Segway. So leave it to these safety advocates to insist that hybrids, with their wussy quiet engines, need to have some sort of warning sound to alert pedestrians and blind people when they're coming.
Really? Are we crazy, or do regular cars not make all that much noise right now? It's not like everybody's growling down the street in a Harley these days.
How It'll Ruin Your Life:
The "warning sound," as it turns out, isn't going to stop with a fake "vroom." Oh, no, that would be far too limiting in a world where everybody has replaced their cell phone ring with T-Pain. People need to express themselves. So, you'll get cars like the DiMora Natalia, which has an MP3-enabled horn. Yes, the day has arrived when you can toot some Lady GaGa at the guy who just cut you off. Take that, asshole!
Of course, this needlessly complicates the primary function of the horn: Warning people you're about to kill. In a few years, driving on the highway will mean you're being subjected to, at best, hipsters blasting classic Simpsons sound bites at you, and at worst, sixty year-olds trying to warn you they're about to plow into you at 100 MPH IF YOU DON'T GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE WAY by inadvertently pressing the button that plays a Kenny G sax solo that was engineered by 80s music producers to be the opposite of alarming. We're almost certain you're not allowed into heaven if the last thing you hear before dying is "Songbird."
#5. OLED Rearview Mirrors
The rear-view mirror is so BORING. All it does is tell you what cars are behind you and if the T-Rex closing in is closer than it appears. So carmakers want to fix that with an OLED overlay on the rearview mirror that would tell you your direction, how fast you're going, how close the vehicles behind you are, how fast they're going and how many bullets you have left in your rear-mounted machine guns (that'll be a feature too, right?).
Image via engadget
How It'll Ruin Your Life:
Fun fact: "distracted driving," where you lose focus on the road for only a couple of seconds, causes 1.5-million crashes a year.
In other words, just looking at a cute puppy for a moment means you might be flattening its mommy a second later, you horrible bastard. And your car already has about eighty million things you might need to look at, on top of the fact that most of you probably use your cell phone in the car and don't have a hands-free device and are constantly glancing over at a Garmin suction-cupped to the windshield.
So what does the driver surrounded by all these distractions need? Why, a blinking rear-view mirror streaming all kinds of factoids it thinks you need to know! And another mirror that you can see in the car in front of you, particularly at night. Just last week we wound up following an SUV around town for an hour because we got engrossed in the movie playing in its headrests.It'll be even harder to ignore their rearview HUD when we can see that it's announcing that the guy behind it is driving like an asshole.
Well, shit, with all these blinking screens and hundreds of automotive ringtones blurting out sound clips in traffic, how are they going to make sure drivers are focusing on the road at all?
#4. Computers That Bitch About Your Driving
There is already a crapload of computers in your car doing everything from checking out your engine to changing the radio station when you yell loudly enough. We're pretty sure there's a hack to get OnStar to compliment your prowess as a lover.
But Toshiba wants to take it one step further and turn that sensuous voice into the backseat driver from Hell.
How It'll Ruin Your Life:
Toshiba's computer would look at your face and make sure you're paying attention to the road, and only the road, no matter what. It uses blink detection to see if you're falling asleep, which is all well and good until you get something caught in your eye, and your car will start shrieking at you like the mother-in-law character from a 50s cartoon.
Even better, a "feature" of the software is an ability to steer the car based on your eye direction, ensuring you'll spend the rest of your life in jail for vehicular manslaughter after that morning you were driving along and suddenly noticed the women's volleyball team was out for a jog.
It gets worse. Consider the Safe Driving Monitor which can be hooked up to your car so it can point out your every crappy driving habit. Even better, it will digitally publish all your mistakes on your LCD keychain.
Thanks, car! Why don't you just fucking drive yourself? Oh, wait...