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In-Car Technology Becoming More Important Than Horsepower 344

Posted by Soulskill
from the windshield-doubles-as-a-screen-for-a-driving-sim dept.
Gunkerty Jeb writes "It seems, and I think a lot of people have prophesied this for some time, that in-car features like internet radio and assisted driving technologies are surpassing horsepower, handling and design as automotive selling points. I just hope manufacturers have put in the time to consider all the security dangers that exist in owning internet synthesized cars."
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In-Car Technology Becoming More Important Than Horsepower

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  • I get it now (Score:4, Insightful)

    by shadowfaxcrx (1736978) on Friday January 07, 2011 @04:56PM (#34796320)

    Well that explains why Acuras suddenly became so damned ugly.

    • by icebike (68054)

      It certainly has. I'm reminded of a very catchy ad [youtube.com] with a pretty face and cool music (Pa Belar) utterly spoiled by an astoundingly ugly car.

      But Maybe because the Accura is "internet synthesized"?

      Just what the hell does that mean anyway? Did the submitter mean synchronized?

      How does one "synthesize a car", and assuming you can do such, how do you use the internet to do it without using robotic welders, assembly plants, and actual real engines, tires, etc.

      • by cayenne8 (626475)
        Damn...between this, and all the fscking "green" concern out there...going to get harder and hard for those of us who like to drive cars that are fun to drive to find such cars.

        Oh well, at least there is still an active after market out there for suspension, exhaust, turbos/superchargers. But hell, it is better IMHO, to be able to BUY much of that already configured from factory, and then tweak it. Especially if you're like me, and enjoy driving and using them, but really don't know much about turning a wr

    • Ya well, that's Honda for you. All of their cars look lame now. And just when I was hoping for a re-release of the 2nd gen CRX Si(R), they provided an underpowered bastardization version of it in the form of a hybrid called the CRZ.

      For budget thrills, Mazda is the only player left in town. How sad the auto industry has become.

      • As a guy who's owned 3 CRX's and still has 1 of them, I can say they should'a named the new one CRY. What an underpowered dog.

      • by dch24 (904899)
        Most makes are designed to gradually upsell you. So they degrade their lowest-end cars, which makes them more "affordable" but eats the quality out of them, over a period of about 10 years. They trade customer loyalty & brand recognition for margin:
        Toyota -> Lexus
        Ford upsells you to their larger vehicles
        VW -> any of the German makes (Audi if they can hook you)

        But Honda? I really don't know what they're trying to do. Their Acura line seems to be all of its luxury as they refocus downward. What
  • by plover (150551) * on Friday January 07, 2011 @04:57PM (#34796344) Homepage Journal

    And what's wrong with assisted driving technology? It saves lives!

    The technology that assists the driver of a modern car drive it safely is amazing. Radar assisted cruise control helps avoid driver frustration because their speed doesn't match the speed of the car ahead of them. Blind spot systems that watch the corners of your vehicle you can't see out the windows and in the mirrors. Backup cameras to avoid running over your children in the driveway. Collision avoidance warning indicators flash a simple red light bar and sound a tone to startle the driver in the event of an impending collision. Head up displays help to keep eyes on the road. Traction control helps avoids spinouts. Stability control helps avoid rollovers. Antilock brakes help stop shorter and quicker. Pre-charged brakes help stop suddenly if the driver isn't assertive enough when attempting to avoid a collision. Voice control to operate the technology without removing your hands from the wheel or eyes from the road.

    And then there are the tech features designed to improve survivability of an accident. Pretensioning seat belts. Adaptive airbags. Autodialing 911.

    All those mean much more to Soccermom Sally than the difference between 225HP and 235HP. Yes, the gearheads want their superchargers, and they're available too. But the market sells to everyone, not just the Top Gear enthusiasts. And a lot more paying customers value safety and comfort over raw horsepower numbers.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      There was a car commercial on the radio today (actually a dealer commercial) touting one of their cars as having automatic high beams. That pretty much interested me. I love my self-dimming rearview mirror, too bad the outside morrors don't have that tech (I hate being in fron of one of those damned bigassed pickup trucks with the headlights at the same heights as a sedan user's eyes).

      Most of this stuff ISN'T a security risk; the keyless entry and strating are the only two I can think of (covered here yeste

      • by icebike (68054)

        Automatic highbeams only help if the OTHER GUY buys them.

        It will take 20 years for that technology to be the norm, unfortunately.

      • by plover (150551) *

        The jury is still out for me. I'm tempted to not use the auto high beams any more. They don't work nearly as well as you might hope. They go to high beam just fine, but they don't dim themselves as early as I would choose to do so, and I find I'm constantly overriding them.

      • I remember Mercury Cougars in the late 80's/early 90's had autodim headlights. They had this huge bulky photosensor between the rearview mirror and the windshield.

      • by I8TheWorm (645702) *

        It's not a security risk, but certainly has risk of failure. Software issues could be one of them. Or how about when the sensor goes out or gets dirty? You become a road hazard because your bright lights won't turn off.

        I guess I got old... I don't see a reason for such a feature when switching my lights to bright and back to normal isn't difficult or dangerous.

        • You can override the automatic system, usually. You just turn it off and use it manually until you fix the sensor.

    • by NevarMore (248971) on Friday January 07, 2011 @05:21PM (#34796710) Homepage Journal

      And what's wrong with assisted driving technology? It saves lives!

      It creates a false sense of security and far too many drivers see it as an absolution of responsibility.

      Unintended acceleration - fault of the car, what about the driver shutting the car down or putting it in neutral or using the parking brake (gently!) ?
      4-wheel drive - I see this once every winter. Some yob with all wheel drive blows past me, then promptly loses traction on all 4 wheels at a higher speed and needs to be fished out of the ditch
      ABS - Better braking is good. Leaving more room and braking sooner is better still.
      traction control - see 4-wheel drive
      On Star - For not emergency situations having a basic toolkit, first aid kit, and enough water and blankets to survive a few hours would beat the hell out of OnStar. I do actually like this once the shit has hit the fans. Treat it like a fire alarm not a personal assistant IMO.
      tire pressure sensors - Check your damned tires when you get fuel. It gets you close to your car and during that process you may spot a problem that doesn't have a sensor watching for it.

      Applying power is also an acceptable response to some situations. Accident avoidance when there are cars behind you can actually be helped by a quick application of power to move the car out of the way and free up an extra few feet for other drivers to stop. Applying power and avoiding is acceptable if braking is not an option. Being able to promptly accelerate and merge instead of having traffic stack up behind on an onramp is also helpful.

      I agree that technology can help and is generally beneficial, its the attitudes around its use that bother me. Its an asset or a tool not a replacement for personal responsibility when operating heavy machinery.

      • by plover (150551) *

        I agree that technology can help and is generally beneficial, its the attitudes around its use that bother me. Its an asset or a tool not a replacement for personal responsibility when operating heavy machinery.

        You may feel that way, but Sally Soccermom doesn't give a damn what you think, and she's out there driving, too. As far as I can tell, she outnumbers you about 10 to 1. So anything that gives her a chance to drive safer without running me off the road in the process is a plus.

        Of course, I'm not so sure I want to be sharing the road with Aaron "I don't need no safety shit to tell me how to drive" Arrogant, but I apparently have no choice in that matter, either.

        • by I8TheWorm (645702) *

          As long as Aaron doesn't take out anybody else when he takes himself out, I'm ok with the gene pool getting a little better ;)

        • by fafaforza (248976)

          At least Aaron isn't futzin with the tv system trying to find Spongebob so that the kids STFU. He's paying attention to the road. He sees that guy up ahead that's kind of swerving in his lane, so he'll make sure to pass him quickly. He sees a merge up ahead, with a tractor trailer in the right lane, and him in the middle lane, so he moves to the left lane so that the truck has room to change lanes and let people merge, without creating a potentially dangerous situation. He knows what exit he's taking mi

    • whenever anybody asks me why cars today still get worse gas mileage than cars in the 80s did, i point at the curb weight of the myriad of safety features on these cars today. you know today's sedans and hell, PERFORMANCE vehicles, are over 2 tons? we'd have been laughed out of the design meetings in the 60s and 70s for suggesting that. The challenger is a portly 4200lbs... for a 2 door coupe. That's just silly.

      And while I like my bells and whistles as much as the next guy, hp and performance still is my mai

    • by icebike (68054)

      And what's wrong with assisted driving technology? It saves lives!

      Does it? Are there any hard figures to prove that?

      Don't all the digital gadgets simply provide another layer of distraction and an excuse to take one's mind off the task at hand?

      (I can watch this in-dash movie, yak on the bluetooth, sip my coffee, because the white line detector will alert me if I wander out of my lane, and the approaching object detector will slam on the brakes if I get too close).

      These things haven't been out long enough for any traffic fatality statistics to be released yet. The jury i

      • by plover (150551) *

        No, you can't watch an in-dash movie unless the transmission is in park. Yes, you can yakk hands-free on the phone, and be distracted. Yes, you can dick around with the navigation system while driving (although you cannot enter text fields while the car is moving.) There are cup holders for everyone.

        And like everyone who posts "my car is fine without all that crap", the same arguments can be made in reverse: you can yakk on a phone without having it built into the car. You can suction-cup a nav system t

    • All that fancy stuff is great until it fails or you rent/borrow/buy a car that doesn't have it. We shouldn't need radar assisted cruise or collision avoidance because we should be paying attention. We shouldn't need blind spot systems because if you're not too lazy to turn your head you don't have blind spots (and that's not even going into the "mirrors out" technique which eliminates blindspots with just the mirrors). Backup cameras I'll give you - They're great for parking when there's a pole or a wall be

    • by D Ninja (825055)

      Antilock brakes help stop shorter and quicker.

      False.

      ABS only makes stops shorter and quicker on dry surfaces. However, on loose traction surfaces (gravel, snow, wet leaves, etc), ABS actually *increases* the braking distance fairly considerably. In this case, you are giving up braking distance for more control. (See here: http://www.monash.edu.au/muarc/reports/Other/RACV%20ABS%20braking%20system%20effectiveness.pdf [monash.edu.au])

      Personally, however, I would rather have a low braking distance. I hate ABS. Almost caused me to die one time when I slid out on a patch of

    • All those mean much more to Soccermom Sally than the difference between 225HP and 235HP. Yes, the gearheads want their superchargers, and they're available too. But the market sells to everyone, not just the Top Gear enthusiasts. And a lot more paying customers value safety and comfort over raw horsepower numbers.

      Gearheads pay more attention to the power-to-weight ratio than they do the actual bhp that the engine produces. Case in point, the car I just recently bought (as in, I put the deposit down yesterda

    • by DCFusor (1763438)
      Or, driver "assistance" can kill if you're not expecting it to kick in and do what it does. Dumb example: I own a nice 2010 Camao SS. It has some of this stuff in it. First thing I do with a new car is see how it does when you deliberatly toss it out of control, does it push, or does it pull, for example. They have a nice big empty lot at the dealer, so I blast down the length in first gear, then whip the wheel hard left-lock to try and spin it.

      Instead of spinning like any car would (and I was still a

  • In the short run, this leads to distracted drivers, which is bad... ...but in the long run, this takes us ever closer to self driving cars and removing humans from behind the wheel.

    Whoever wants to drive manually in my utopian future can do so on a track, for what I care. People kill too many innocent other people by being stupid behind the wheel.

    • by Gordonjcp (186804)

      What a good job cars that drive themselves will never really be a realistic prospect. It's just plain too complex to get a computer to respond safely to the changing conditions on roads. Yes, you can make a car that can drive itself around quiet streets and even park itself. Yes, you can make an autonomous 4x4 that can race up a quiet hill track faster than a human driver. You're in your autonomous car, with another car a little close behind when an oncoming car swerves into your lane to avoid debris, j

      • by plover (150551) *

        The current auto-drive stuff Google is testing will handle much of what you describe. And current humans are already quite bad at handling the rest of it, as the complexity and speed of it unfolding does overwhelm many of them.

        I don't think it would be any worse than many of the regular drivers out there, and far better than most cell phone users or drunks.

        • by icebike (68054) on Friday January 07, 2011 @05:42PM (#34797054)

          Actually, NO, the current stuff google is testing handles uneventful driving on carefully selected courses.

          It still drives thru every pothole, can not handle sudden avoidance maneuvers safely, and has no clue about the child running toward the street from behind a row of parked cars, can't get out of the way of emergency vehicles, or even anticipate the jet-wash of a passing semi.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      That's a great idea, then you will only be able to drive your car to government approved destinations, or at least the government will know when you drive your car to "inappropriate" destinations.
      • by plover (150551) *

        The government doesn't care if your car is at an inappropriate destination. They already can see if your cell phone is there.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        That's a great idea, then you will only be able to drive your car to government approved destinations, or at least the government will know when you drive your car to "inappropriate" destinations.

        Yeah, good thing we don't have that. Why, to do that with today's cars, the government would have to mandate some sort of identification plate on every vehicle, and then put up traffic-monitoring cameras everywhere.

    • In the short run, this leads to distracted drivers, which is bad... ...but in the long run, this takes us ever closer to self driving cars and removing humans from behind the wheel.

      Whoever wants to drive manually in my utopian future can do so on a track, for what I care. People kill too many innocent other people by being stupid behind the wheel.

      In the long run it keeps us in the electronics industry employed. Thank you automotive sector and your army of customers! I like all the fancy beer that I drink and the continuation of my mortgage payments, although I can't quite understand why you need a backup camera, a GPS, or an electric drivetrain that is a net polluter.

      As far as distracted driving goes, I never pay attention to the road anyways, often zoning out for half an hour at a time. It's fine.

  • by Haedrian (1676506) on Friday January 07, 2011 @04:59PM (#34796366)

    You think a normal person cares about horsepower? Or top speed for that matter? Even handling is a bit borderline. You're going to be as driving as fast as you feel comfortable in that situation. If I live in a built up area I don't need an engine that could accelerate a car to lightspeeds.

    But the 'techy' stuff is cool.

    • by Seumas (6865)

      The only thing I care about is automation. Until I can type in a desired destination and take a nap or read a book until I get there, I don't care about any other innovations.

    • You think a normal person cares about horsepower? Or top speed for that matter? Even handling is a bit borderline. You're going to be as driving as fast as you feel comfortable in that situation. If I live in a built up area I don't need an engine that could accelerate a car to lightspeeds.

      But the 'techy' stuff is cool.

      I would agree with you except that people with social lives like sports, cars, and cats, often combining their passions together, or using one to get the others, or falling back on one, when the others aren't working. It is normal for a person to have a fetish about technology that is car-centric.

    • As an owner of a 2004 toyota echo, I crave the 5x more POWAH that the bmw 1 series M will bring me:)

      • by Chris Burke (6130)

        As someone who upgraded from an '87 Toyota Tercel to an '03 Toyota Echo, sometimes even to this day I'm all "WHOA there, Nelly!" when I put the accelerator down too hard when the light turns green.

        Of course Nelly, the old gray mare, is too far ahead to even hear me by then, but my old Tercel would have been behind is my point! It's all relative. :)

  • They need to just focus on smartphone integration. The people craving these features are the early adopters that already have a smartphone. You can get navigation and internet radio with that already.

  • Horsepower? Sure, I've never cared much about that (most cars are "good enough" for my needs). Handling and "design", though? Not so much. Somehow I can't picture handling being less important than dicking around on twitter, or whatever.
    • by jandrese (485)
      Horsepower used to be a big deal, when people didn't have nearly as much of it. Nowadays even a tiny 4 banger will get you to highway speeds in reasonable time (barring some exceptional cases) so it's not much of a concern. Our speed limits aren't going to go up anytime soon. That's why car makers are now scrambling to differentiate themselves some other way.
  • I like all the comforts of home in my F250 (no, I do not own a farm, but I am a truck gal) and my guy makes sure everything works, even things I did not know were broken :)

    I get uncomfortable when things approach too much tech, like Gunkerty Jeb notes. Over the life of this relationship, I have learned a lot that I should have known anyway about vehicles. Like "the good old days" when a wire went to a switch that controlled a solenoid or a motor, instead of going to a computer that controls everything unt

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      I get uncomfortable when things approach too much tech

      Er, what are you doing here, then? And with a truck that big, you really NEED horsepower (and lots of money for gasoline)

      • by Suki I (1546431)

        I get uncomfortable when things approach too much tech

        Er, what are you doing here, then? And with a truck that big, you really NEED horsepower (and lots of money for gasoline)

        Oh, paleeze! It is not a /. requirement that every person on here have a 3D HUD in their vehicle. All that horsepower will come in really handy when I tow something really heavy with that tow thingie in back. If you can't afford the gas, you can't afford the truck ;)

        I can't wait for spring, I need to wax the bed.

  • Farmville (Score:4, Funny)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Friday January 07, 2011 @05:04PM (#34796454) Homepage Journal

    The first car to add Farmville support will become the best selling car in the country.

    • by H0p313ss (811249)

      The first car to add Farmville support will become the best selling car in the country.

      And within a year the actuarial tables will show that they are the least insurable.

    • by TheL0ser (1955440)
      And then will immediately become the most accident-prone car in the country.

      But then again, these are people playing Farmville..... Your ideas intrigue me and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        And then will immediately become the most accident-prone car in the country.
        But then again, these are people playing Farmville.....

        Well, more people die in SUVs per passenger mile than any other type of vehicle (too heavy for good handling or quick stopping, easy to roll over, many models have no crumple zones, etc) but Darwin hasn't taken out the idiot SUV drivers yet, now has he?

    • How do I mod something +1 Deeply Horrifying?
      • you have the buy that option for $1.99.

        • by JustNilt (984644)

          you have the buy that option for $1.99.

          No, you have to buy SB (Slashdot Bucks) in chunks of $10. You may then use 1.99 SB for this feature. At some point, you'll have too little SB to actually use and then either Slashdot gets more of your money or you have to deal with the fact that you essentially gave them some for free.

          Next we'd have Chinese SB farmers somehow making money off this. *laughs*

  • by gurps_npc (621217) on Friday January 07, 2011 @05:09PM (#34796510) Homepage
    I think this is theoretically possible, not 100% sure.

    I want to see the sources of all mobile phone use within 100 ft of my car. Of course, ideally I would want a head's up type projection on the windows, showing all the morons using their phone (texting or voice - hands free or regular), in red. But I would settle for a 30 ft warning telling me that the guy in the next lane was doing stupid, dangerous stuff.

    One simple way to know which idiots to be extra careful of.

    • by jandrese (485)
      First question that pops into my head: How are you supposed to be able to tell if it is the driver or the passenger on the phone? Unless you subscribe to the "any phone use in the car is dangerous, even people in the back seat" theory.
    • I think this is theoretically possible, not 100% sure.

      I want to see the sources of all mobile phone use within 100 ft of my car. Of course, ideally I would want a head's up type projection on the windows, showing all the morons using their phone (texting or voice - hands free or regular), in red. But I would settle for a 30 ft warning telling me that the guy in the next lane was doing stupid, dangerous stuff.

      One simple way to know which idiots to be extra careful of.

      Actually, I would love this, because then you could correlate my clean driving record with my phone usage and it would disprove your hangup. Some people can really do two things at once with skill and safety.

      In all seriousness, though, it would be great to show you a radar with relative hazards based on driving record. You could even correlate if someone was just in front an accident before it happens. (I have a theory that there are jerks out there that regularly cause accidents immediately behind them. M

      • by gurps_npc (621217)
        You need to take some classes about both arguing and statistics. You gave anacodatl arguments, which are worthless. We don't care if you personally can do something safely. We care about what the majority of people can do. And studies have repeatedly shown that driving while on the phone is DANGEROUS for most people. It is the equivelent of being drunk.

        They have also shown that none of the idiots that were involved in the accidents caused by their dangerous actions thought they were doing anything d

      • Actually, I would love this, because then you could correlate my clean driving record with my phone usage and it would disprove your hangup.

        The plural of anecdote is not data.

    • I want to see the sources of all mobile phone use within 100 ft of my car. Of course, ideally I would want a head's up type projection on the windows, showing all the morons using their phone (texting or voice - hands free or regular), in red.

      Does this include data use? If not, why is using email or VoIP different than texting or regular voice calling. If, on the other hand, it does, why do you care that I'm listening to Pandora through my iPhone rather than listening to my radio?

      It seems to me that however you do this its not a good way to get at what you are interested in. You either end up with lots of false positives or lots of false negatives -- or both.

    • Does posting on /. while driving count as textin!@#!.........
    • Possible.....sure, maybe. Cell phone signals are designed to travel for miles.

      The transmitters are variable power, so it would be very difficult to determine distance based on signal strength. To do that, you would need several receivers to triangulate.

      I say forget what other drivers are doing in their cars; get proof of what they do with their cars.

      The tech I'd like to see (and I've considered building it) is a series of cameras that record in timeshift mode. That is, video from the cameras is stored fo

    • I'm sure we could integrate this with some Vulcan cannon tracking too.
    • Shouldn't it include technology that warns you about all the people trying to see where the little red dots are on their screen listing all the cellphone users?
    • I've a coworker who has built a cute setup for his car. He's a bright coder and we have a lot of neat hardware, so his first version was just to have a pan-and-tilt webcam scanning the parking lot and recognizing the car his boss drives, so he gets a heads-up email/sms when his boss gets to work. Since that worked pretty well, he's built (and is still playing with) what he calls assholecam. It sits on the dashboard of his car, scans nearby cars, and sticks their license plate numbers into a database. If
  • I rather have a vehicle with great handling and horsepower; cause in point Porsche GT3 it does with any standard feature such as radio or AC/Heat just pure raw horsepower and handling.

  • Yes, and it's bad (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cowtamer (311087) on Friday January 07, 2011 @05:16PM (#34796600) Journal

    Having recently purchased a car, I can't tell you how many really nicely equipped, horribly underpowered tin boxes I got to drive. Most of them had the option to upgrade the gizmos, but did not even offer a usable engine size. I don't know if this will keep up for long, though -- they sell you "keyless entry" for $1000 (when you can clearly see that the "base model" has everything needed except the remote already built in), a nav system for $2000 ($1000 actually, but it ONLY comes with the leather seats), and the ever insulting "alloy wheels" (like anyone has ever cared) etc. The electronics can't be _that_ expensive to produce, and I think a couple of the Asian manufacturers will end the game and call everyone's bluff by giving these features out for free (Hyundai seems to be going this route).

    • by 0123456 (636235) on Friday January 07, 2011 @05:39PM (#34797002)

      Having recently purchased a car, I can't tell you how many really nicely equipped, horribly underpowered tin boxes I got to drive.

      We recently bought a new car. It's considered a small economy car and has the smallest, least powerful engine of the cars we looked at, but it's more powerful than my supercharged stationwagon from the 1980s, and a third more powerful than the two-seat sports car I used to drive... however it weighs about 20% more than the stationwagon and 50% more than the sports car.

      The problem is not so much lack of power, but massive bloat.

    • by Dishwasha (125561)

      Yeah, when you're spending 16k+, what's another $1000 to have an under featured car stereo/mp3/ipod jack/bluetooth syncable system when you can get after market systems with in dash DVD players with the same options for the same price. A new sucker's born every minute.

  • With parts made by the cheapest Chinese no-name bidder and slapped together by minimally trained clock watchers in Detroit, you can be sure that while the Car of Tomorrow may not fly, it will become obsolete, broken down and uneconomic to fix quicker and more efficiently than ever before. Recycling essentially roadworthy cars with a couple of busted black boxes is certainly going to be a growth industry - unfortunately, it'll all be done in China as well.
  • by Yold (473518) on Friday January 07, 2011 @05:20PM (#34796688)

    Manufacturer automotive electronics are a ripoff. For example, look at an OEM GPS unit. On a new car, it will cost you $1000 - $3000 vs. $200 for a top-end Garmin aftermarket (external) unit. Even the in-dash aftermarket units are substantially less.

    Now that cars have aluminum VVT engines, heated seats, anti-lock, and traction control, car manufacturers are running out of shinny new mechanical features to market. Solution? Cram shit like Microsoft Sync into cars.

    I don't want any more infotainment technology in vehicles; I deal with enough assholes tapping at their smartphones during my commute.

  • You might think that I would enjoy a technology-rich driving experience; I'm a software developer, after all. However, my ideal driving experience involves a close connection between me and the road. I want to be in control, and I don't mean I want a lot of LED readouts telling me what the car is doing for me... I want the smooth mechanical feel as I change the gears. I want to feel the engine roar responsively as I press the accelerator. And why would the need for great handling even be questioned?

    I defi
  • One might argue that competing on Horsepower is a path to mutual destruction - as cars get bigger and more aggressive, accidents are more dangerous. On the other hand, if people are more concerned with enjoying the time in their car, than driving fast and aggressively, it could be a net improvement in safety.
    BTW nothing you do will make people pay more attention to driving - they will always pay only as much attention as is necessary 95% of the time.

  • ...so long as you can turn them off when you get to a track.
    As a geek I like my car to be...geeky but I also want it to give me a facelift when I stomp on the gas; the Nissan GTR and Audi R8 come to mind (personal favourites).
    My point is that for those of us who can actually handle a car and know when it is OK -- and legal -- to cross the line we should be allowed to do so.
  • It's a car; it's transportation, not a lifestyle. If you're treating it as a lifestyle, you're doing it wrong.
    • by Zapotek (1032314)
      What the hell are you talking about? To many people computers are gaming and masturbatory aids, to all the people here they are not.
      To you cars may be just a means of transportation, to people who can appreciate a good car and what went into building it they are not -- at least not just.
    • Re:Priorities (Score:4, Informative)

      by larshoff (1905288) on Friday January 07, 2011 @05:48PM (#34797168)
      I spend 2 hours a day in my car getting to and from work, thats a significant time of my life and I sure like it to be a nice place to be.
  • Why is anyone surprised by this?

    I'm a lapsed car enthusiast (I wrench on mountain bikes and my home now) and this is pretty obvious for a few reasons:
    1) The average consumer doesn't care about additional handling and power. Never has.
    2) Nowadays car groups handle about the same.
    3) Kia would blow to doors off a 50s sports car on moguls and be right behind it in a straight line.

    We are at the point of 'good enough'. Much like CDs have become good enough. Why push for more when you don't need it?

"Indecision is the basis of flexibility" -- button at a Science Fiction convention.

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