The Modern Day Car Is Driving Me to Distraction
“I want minimum information – given with maximum politeness – Jackie Kennedy 1963
Many years ago when I got my hand on my first Ford Cortina I thought I was the “bees-knees”. It had all the modern attributes like seatbelt's, built-in car radio, a heater that was either too hot or too cold, windey-up windows and a factory fitted heated rear window (not one of those electrical metallic strips are you attach yourself if you could avoid tearing it)
After the ritual of pouring boiling water on the frozen lock to then get the key in and gain entry, the machine would normally start after a few turns of the key and several prayers. The wait for the windows to demist was quickly eradicated by the use of an all J-cloth stuffed in the glove compartment.
The car was super and got me from A to B with odd diversion from C to D depending on the map on my co-drivers knee.
So roll on for all those years as a climb into my luxury car, my Ford Kuga, without the aid of a metallic key and take my position on the flight deck. I use the term loosely but in reality today's car journey is nothing short of the equivalent of a transatlantic flight.
As I press the start button the jet engines burst in to life and make pre-flight checks begin.
1 – Fuel – Check!
Nothing much different from the old days apart from the car telling me how many miles to go before I am out of gas.
2 - Tyre pressure – Check!
I am notified if I have a pressure problem- much better than kicking them I suppose.
3 - Outside temperature – Check!
But I already know that it’s fffffreezing!
4 - Mobile phone connected – Check!
5 - Satnav on – Check!
6 - Dashboard camera on- Check! –
7 - Traffic alerts on – Check!
8 - Seat adjusted height, width and depth – Check!
9 - Heated seats on – Check!
10 - Ready for take- off!
So I put the car into the reverse (automatic of course) and the reversing camera bursts into life. Then we are off. My satnav co-pilot stop tell me which way to turn (t be quite honest I eventually get fed up with her and later on silence her for the rest of the day - not something easily done with my Cortina co-pilot!
My Dashcam is flashing are we recording every second of my journey just in case I am involved in an accident!
My fuel gauge is nagging me about how much feel I'm wasting!
My four-wheel-drive indicator is tell me which wheels are being powered!
My head is busting with information and I've only reached the road end!
My eyes are strained watching every instrument flickering away.
I eventually hit the motorway and engage the cruise control. The car takes me to the maximum speed set and I sit back and relax on the warm seat listening to the local digital radio station. All is graceful and peaceful in the world.
Then the traffic announcement rudely interrupts my peaceful solace.
Oh no! Traffic delays up ahead!
I'm still been driven at a regulated speed when the adaptive cruise control kicks in. The radar on the front of the car has detected that I am getting too close to the lorry in front and slows me down, just at the point that I have checked my mirror, indicated and pulled out to overtake. I quickly need to regain control to accelerate past the danger. At the same time my in car Bluetooth mobile phone has kicked into life. It’s my wife.
I'm driving at 70 mph in the fast lane, trying to feel for the phone answer button on the steering wheel with my backside burning from over exposure of the heated seat. But I hit the wrong button and suddenly I have activated the Synch voice activated control system - asking me what I would like to do.
“Do?!” I know what I would like to do!
As I have accelerated, the Satnav has detected I am over the speed limit for those particular co-ordinates. “Caution!” She screams at me. “Shut up!” I scream back and smack the Mute button. Peace at last!
I pull back in from the fast lane, and let the cruise control take over again at the comfortable cruising speed and turn off the heated seat.
The traffic announcement interrupts once more - the previously reported delay has now been resolved.
I breathe deeply and can call my wife.
“How is your journey been so far?” she asks not really that interested.
So I start to relive the events of the day.
“Whoa!” she says”Too much information”.
You couldn't be nearer the truth my dear.
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