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(Chicago Trib)   In-car internet has automakers salivating: get ready for Your Odometer, Brought To You By Tostitos Hint of Lime And Geico Insurance   (chicagotribune.com) divider line 83
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2391 clicks; posted to Business » on 05 May 2013 at 11:04 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-06 06:33:20 AM

Fark Me To Tears: FTFA: "I have grandchildren that have only grown up in a world with smartphones," Akerson, a former telecommunications executive, said on a conference call on Thursday to discuss GM's quarterly results.

I've grown up in a world with indoor plumbing, but I don't want a toilet in my car.

Dear Car Makers: Stop trying to turn cars into smartphones. I don't need or want a touch screen in my car. I want controls with actual knobs and buttons that I can use without having to divert my attention away from the road. By leaving off the touch screens and other distracting nonsense, you should be able to save enough on manufacturing costs to pass that savings onto your consumers. Cars already cost too much, and you keep adding unnecessary crap to them to justify raising the prices. That's why I keep maintaining my already-paid-off 1998 car.


It should be telling to car manufacturers that I - an automotive enthusiast and technophile - now own FOUR cars between 1998 and 2001. All domestics. Truly a golden era - if you were careful and bought well, you could still get real engines, real transmissions, all the convenience of modern engine management and none of the idiotic analytics spy-crap.

I do need a new commuter car, though (50,000 miles a year is WAY too much to comfortably and reliably put on the aged fleet), and the shortlist-of-one is a lightweight sports coupe without any idiotic electronics. And it's Japanese. I thought THEY were supposed to be the technophile culture, and we Americans were supposed to 'get' driving.
 
2013-05-06 07:05:10 AM

Fark Me To Tears: Stop trying to turn cars into smartphones. I don't need or want a touch screen in my car. I want controls with actual knobs and buttons that I can use without having to divert my attention away from the road. By leaving off the touch screens and other distracting nonsense, you should be able to save enough on manufacturing costs to pass that savings onto your consumers.


I agree 100% but in defense of auto companies...

If they don't include these electronic bells and whistles then their new vehicle that they just spent 3 years and $200,000,000 developing will get panned in the auto press.  Consumer Reports, JD Powers and others will ignore the new 500,000 mile maintenance free transmission and write that the vehicle comes with yesterday's technology.  You can't risk that if you're a marketer for an autocompany.
 
2013-05-06 07:23:52 AM
The future is cars that drive themselves and scream ads at you every second.

I already avoid Shell stations because I go there to PUMP GAS, not listen to shiatty commercials.
 
2013-05-06 07:24:03 AM

insano: Fark Me To Tears: I've grown up in a world with indoor plumbing, but I don't want a toilet in my car.

Dear Car Makers: Stop trying to turn cars into smartphones. I don't need or want a touch screen in my car. I want controls with actual knobs and buttons that I can use without having to divert my attention away from the road. By leaving off the touch screens and other distracting nonsense, you should be able to save enough on manufacturing costs to pass that savings onto your consumers. Cars already cost too much, and you keep adding unnecessary crap to them to justify raising the prices. That's why I keep maintaining my already-paid-off 1998 car.

Seriously. How about car companies design a decent car that costs under $10,000 new, for those who don't want to take a chance on a used car but also don't want to drop half a year's salary. That would be a breakthrough.


I see a lot of Kias on the road lately
 
2013-05-06 07:25:18 AM

Fark Me To Tears: Dear Car Makers: Stop trying to turn cars into smartphones. I don't need or want a touch screen in my car. I want controls with actual knobs and buttons that I can use without having to divert my attention away from the road. By leaving off the touch screens and other distracting nonsense, you should be able to save enough on manufacturing costs to pass that savings onto your consumers. Cars already cost too much, and you keep adding unnecessary crap to them to justify raising the prices. That's why I keep maintaining my already-paid-off 1998 car.


The issue I see is that as the fuel economy of cars get better, the damn distractions get worse.  I would love to have a new car with great a great MPG rating, without all of the damn digital display crap.  Yeah, you can keep the on-board computer for the MPG (I wish I didn't need this, but I understand why it is there), but I don't need a touch screen dash, I don't need to to synchronize to my smartphone, I don't need any of the crap.
 
2013-05-06 07:53:11 AM

Fark Me To Tears: FTFA: "I have grandchildren that have only grown up in a world with smartphones," Akerson, a former telecommunications executive, said on a conference call on Thursday to discuss GM's quarterly results.

I've grown up in a world with indoor plumbing, but I don't want a toilet in my car.

Dear Car Makers: Stop trying to turn cars into smartphones. I don't need or want a touch screen in my car. I want controls with actual knobs and buttons that I can use without having to divert my attention away from the road. By leaving off the touch screens and other distracting nonsense, you should be able to save enough on manufacturing costs to pass that savings onto your consumers. Cars already cost too much, and you keep adding unnecessary crap to them to justify raising the prices. That's why I keep maintaining my already-paid-off 1998 car.


This.

Reminds me when they tried to replace analog gauges with digital readouts back in the 1980's. You can scan analog gauges without really needing to know the exact info they're displaying. You know where the needles should be pointing. You had to "read" the digital gauges, and try to figure out what the number related to.

The old saw "Too clever by half" comes to mind.
 
2013-05-06 08:03:52 AM

Basily Gourt: Fark Me To Tears: FTFA: "I have grandchildren that have only grown up in a world with smartphones," Akerson, a former telecommunications executive, said on a conference call on Thursday to discuss GM's quarterly results.

I've grown up in a world with indoor plumbing, but I don't want a toilet in my car.

Dear Car Makers: Stop trying to turn cars into smartphones. I don't need or want a touch screen in my car. I want controls with actual knobs and buttons that I can use without having to divert my attention away from the road. By leaving off the touch screens and other distracting nonsense, you should be able to save enough on manufacturing costs to pass that savings onto your consumers. Cars already cost too much, and you keep adding unnecessary crap to them to justify raising the prices. That's why I keep maintaining my already-paid-off 1998 car.

This.

Reminds me when they tried to replace analog gauges with digital readouts back in the 1980's. You can scan analog gauges without really needing to know the exact info they're displaying. You know where the needles should be pointing. You had to "read" the digital gauges, and try to figure out what the number related to.

The old saw "Too clever by half" comes to mind.


Exactly. I kind of admire what Cadillac has done with their exterior styling, but facepalm when I hear that ad saying "how many buttons does your TABLET have?"

Buttons are good on a car, idiots. Arguably on a phone too, but that's a different discussion.
 
2013-05-06 08:06:59 AM
Weng
I do need a new commuter car, though (50,000 miles a year is WAY too much to comfortably and reliably put on the aged fleet), and the shortlist-of-one is a lightweight sports coupe without any idiotic electronics. And it's Japanese. I thought THEY were supposed to be the technophile culture, and we Americans were supposed to 'get' driving.


Depressing, isn't it.  Pickups are now commuter cars, minimalistic sporty cars American cars are built for comfort.  Things are generally built to have the same relative feel.

I would love to see an American company make something like a s2000 or hot hatch, light, crank windows, no power steering.  Instead you get smaller version of mid-sized sedans.

Oh yeah, stop farking around and just drive.  Touch screens in any form don't to be used by a driver.
 
2013-05-06 09:07:02 AM

Burr: The issue I see is that as the fuel economy of cars get better, the damn distractions get worse. I would love to have a new car with great a great MPG rating, without all of the damn digital display crap. Yeah, you can keep the on-board computer for the MPG (I wish I didn't need this, but I understand why it is there), but I don't need a touch screen dash, I don't need to to synchronize to my smartphone, I don't need any of the crap.


My 2010 base-model Honda Fit fills the bill nicely. Manual transmission, no touchscreen crap, basic stereo with an input jack (newer models include a USB port for a thumbdrive), fun to drive, and good on gas.

Oddly, the EPA ratings are kind of crappy - EPA says 27 city/33 highway, but I rarely ever get worse than 36 MPG, and at back road speeds (55-60 MPH), I can get 40-43. At freeway speeds (70-75 MPH), I'll get 36-38. To get 33 on the highway I have to seriously leadfoot it. Keep a light touch on the gas at speed (cruise control didn't become standard until 2011), and it will reward you with fewer stops at the gas pump.
 
2013-05-06 09:10:42 AM
FTFA: For example, what happens if when the logo shows on your screen, it says 'brought to you by Allstate'?

If I'm level-headed, I'm not going to buy the damn car in the first place. OnStar is already the reason I won't even consider a GM car.

If I'm not level-headed, I'm going to rack up big repair bills each time I smash that fancy touchscreen.
 
2013-05-06 09:33:10 AM

Fubegra: Keep a light touch on the gas at speed (cruise control didn't become standard until 2011), and it will reward you with fewer stops at the gas pump.


Which is the fundamental problem. People don't drive like that. I see it every day on my commute. They go full speed into stopped traffic and slam on the brakes at the last second, they lay on the gas when the line starts moving again and have to slam on the brakes 10 seconds later when it stops again, they race right up to red lights and stop signs, they let their speed drift up and down all over the place....

Hell, I have a fairly heavy full size coupe and I can get 30 mpg overall, which is about 20% better than the EPA estimate, just by not driving like a dickless a-hole and paying attention to more than just the car right in front of me so I can anticipate stops and slowdowns.

And taking this very basic level of care costs me like an extra 2 minutes of time each way because for all the effort required to weave around in traffic during rush hour you're just not getting that much farther ahead when it's so heavy.
 
2013-05-06 10:01:04 AM
Could be worse, could be Buzzfeed. (Featured Partner)
 
2013-05-06 10:05:02 AM

Tony_Pepperoni: jaytkay: Drive, assholes.

This is not phone time.
This is not text time.
This is not browse time.

Drive your car. The Internet will still be there when you manage to pull your fat ass out of the car.

SO MUCH THIS ^^^


I too shall agree.


skozlaw: Fubegra: Keep a light touch on the gas at speed (cruise control didn't become standard until 2011), and it will reward you with fewer stops at the gas pump.

Which is the fundamental problem. People don't drive like that. I see it every day on my commute. They go full speed into stopped traffic and slam on the brakes at the last second, they lay on the gas when the line starts moving again and have to slam on the brakes 10 seconds later when it stops again, they race right up to red lights and stop signs, they let their speed drift up and down all over the place....



Treating the gas and brake pedals like on/off switches. Makes me so glad I no longer have a long commute.
 
2013-05-06 10:16:53 AM
This is basically the worst idea ever.

You know how after a little bit of oil and dirt accumulates on your smarphone's touchscreen, you'll have to try three or four times to hit the right button? Or how just the tiniest bit of water on the face of it makes it spazz out?

Imagine having the same issue at 70 MPH.. Oh, and in my case I'm left-handed and can imagine I'm probably not the only lefty to have issues operating NORMAL, physical dials and switches, let alone an uncooperative touchscreen.
 
2013-05-06 10:30:03 AM
My boring old Golf TDi already has high-speed intarwebs for the grandkids to surf...byol*.

cdn.slashgear.com
* - bring your own laptop
 
2013-05-06 11:20:59 AM
No biting on anything that relates to an insurance company potentially getting  access to what speed I drive at, mileage or when or where I drive.
 
2013-05-06 11:31:41 AM

No Line For Beer: "Your wipers will begin following this brief advertisement."


You can skip this ad in 5 seconds.

I actually believe that they are salivating over all of this so that when the cars are internet connected they can start building a hellacious database that they can see to the likes of Google and Facebook. So your car shows up at the local liquor store. Everything you see online becomes an ad for whatever they find you purchased using your credit card. It's coming folks and they are just turning up the temp ever so slowly.
 
2013-05-06 11:54:13 AM
I have to agree with a lot of the people here. All you need is a reliable car with good gas milage that dosent look like an econo box and the world will beat a bath to your door. I had an 05 Corolla until sept when a guy ran a stop sign and fixed that. Took me forever to find a car that didnt have every damn bell and whistle to replace it.
 
2013-05-06 12:19:15 PM
I'm sticking with my 1998 Ford Ranger as long as possible. Only digital display it has is the display on the radio, which is controlled with buttons and knobs. Even my windows are the old "manual" kind!

Don't need anything in a vehicle to sync with a smartphone either, since I've never owned one!

Just need something to get me from "point A" to "point B" reliably, and my old truck still does that!
 
2013-05-06 01:08:04 PM

groppet: I have to agree with a lot of the people here. All you need is a reliable car with good gas milage that dosent look like an econo box and the world will beat a bath to your door. I had an 05 Corolla until sept when a guy ran a stop sign and fixed that. Took me forever to find a car that didnt have every damn bell and whistle to replace it.


OOC, what did you get to replace it?

I'm getting a bit annoyed at what options I'd want vs. what I'd also have to buy with it -- like cruise control would be nice, but I don't want to pay an extra $4,000 for the "LXT" package that also comes with the sunroof, 6 speaker entertainment system, heated bucket seats, leather wrapped shifter and body color door handles just for cruise control.
 
2013-05-06 01:15:22 PM
And once these idiots figure out they're adding technology for technology's sake, against any real utility, they're going to add back the analog dials that you could feel their position without looking, all the while patting themselves on the back for 'advances in user-operability' or some other such business-speak.
 
2013-05-06 01:17:21 PM

Fark Me To Tears:
Outstanding!
Simply out-fu*ckin'-standing!
You're Total Farked for 30 days.
Venture forth and make more witty postings.


Thanks.

Do the needful: I actually believe that they are salivating over all of this so that when the cars are internet connected they can start building a hellacious database that they can see to the likes of Google and Facebook. So your car shows up at the local liquor store. Everything you see online becomes an ad for whatever they find you purchased using your credit card. It's coming folks and they are just turning up the temp ever so slowly.


I wish targeted advertising worked for me half as well as they claim.  I swear some of these marketing firms bought their algorithm from Netflix.
 
2013-05-06 01:19:52 PM

Muta: Fark Me To Tears: Stop trying to turn cars into smartphones. I don't need or want a touch screen in my car. I want controls with actual knobs and buttons that I can use without having to divert my attention away from the road. By leaving off the touch screens and other distracting nonsense, you should be able to save enough on manufacturing costs to pass that savings onto your consumers.

I agree 100% but in defense of auto companies...

If they don't include these electronic bells and whistles then their new vehicle that they just spent 3 years and $200,000,000 developing will get panned in the auto press.  Consumer Reports, JD Powers and others will ignore the new 500,000 mile maintenance free transmission and write that the vehicle comes with yesterday's technology.  You can't risk that if you're a marketer for an autocompany.


I don't know about anyone else, but Consumer Reports has been pretty vocal in its opposition to touchscreen interfaces on automobiles, for the same reasons described by others in this thread.
 
2013-05-06 01:44:35 PM

groppet: All you need is a reliable car with good gas mileage that doesn't look like an econo box and the world will beat a bath to your door


Will they bring soap as well?
 
2013-05-06 02:02:43 PM

Donnchadha: groppet: I have to agree with a lot of the people here. All you need is a reliable car with good gas milage that dosent look like an econo box and the world will beat a bath to your door. I had an 05 Corolla until sept when a guy ran a stop sign and fixed that. Took me forever to find a car that didnt have every damn bell and whistle to replace it.

OOC, what did you get to replace it?

I'm getting a bit annoyed at what options I'd want vs. what I'd also have to buy with it -- like cruise control would be nice, but I don't want to pay an extra $4,000 for the "LXT" package that also comes with the sunroof, 6 speaker entertainment system, heated bucket seats, leather wrapped shifter and body color door handles just for cruise control.


I ended up getting an 2011 Corolla. Found one with not too much crap I didnt need. But it has a port so I can plug an Ipod/smartphone into the dash. My folks were just glad it came with keyless entry and electric windows. My 05 Corolla was a bare bones model.
 
2013-05-06 02:15:59 PM

groppet: Donnchadha: groppet: I have to agree with a lot of the people here. All you need is a reliable car with good gas milage that dosent look like an econo box and the world will beat a bath to your door. I had an 05 Corolla until sept when a guy ran a stop sign and fixed that. Took me forever to find a car that didnt have every damn bell and whistle to replace it.

OOC, what did you get to replace it?

I'm getting a bit annoyed at what options I'd want vs. what I'd also have to buy with it -- like cruise control would be nice, but I don't want to pay an extra $4,000 for the "LXT" package that also comes with the sunroof, 6 speaker entertainment system, heated bucket seats, leather wrapped shifter and body color door handles just for cruise control.

I ended up getting an 2011 Corolla. Found one with not too much crap I didnt need. But it has a port so I can plug an Ipod/smartphone into the dash. My folks were just glad it came with keyless entry and electric windows. My 05 Corolla was a bare bones model.


I drove a '11 or '12 Corolla as a loaner a few times. It was a whole lotta "meh". I might go for it if the price was right, but it wasn't a very inspiring car. It also doesn't help that my current '01 Elantra still gets 32 mpg (and I'm literally commuting up and down a mountain every day) and the latest and greatest models are only claiming 34-ish.
 
2013-05-06 04:39:51 PM

Fubegra: FTFA: For example, what happens if when the logo shows on your screen, it says 'brought to you by Allstate'?

If I'm level-headed, I'm not going to buy the damn car in the first place. OnStar is already the reason I won't even consider a GM car.

If I'm not level-headed, I'm going to rack up big repair bills each time I smash that fancy touchscreen.


You do realize that OnStar is an option? That you can order the car with the customization that you want and the dealer will place the order with the factory and that it will eventually be delivered to the lot, if they don't have exactly what you want sitting in the show room? Sure you won't be able to drive that new car right off the lot the day you go to buy, but so what? To get exactly what you want in color, trim, and options sometimes sacrifices must be made.
 
2013-05-06 07:36:14 PM
anfrind,
I don't know about anyone else, but Consumer Reports has been pretty vocal in its opposition to touchscreen interfaces on automobiles, for the same reasons described by others in this thread.


Not disagreeing with the touch screen opinion there, but consumer reports is part of the reason too many American cars are so much alike.

Make something purpose built that is not meant for a family with two children and it gets demerits for not being good enough. The Camry is the perfect car and regardless of the size or the function and those attributes are what Chevy or Ford tend to go for.
 
2013-05-06 09:44:59 PM
Crap like this is why self-driving cars need to get on the market pronto. Anything to remove the majority of idiot humans from the driving process would be a significant gain in safety.

/I'll stay with my me-driving car, because I actually enjoy operating a vehicle.
 
2013-05-07 06:05:04 AM

Fark Me To Tears: FTFA: "I have grandchildren that have only grown up in a world with smartphones," Akerson, a former telecommunications executive, said on a conference call on Thursday to discuss GM's quarterly results.

I've grown up in a world with indoor plumbing, but I don't want a toilet in my car.

Dear Car Makers: Stop trying to turn cars into smartphones. I don't need or want a touch screen in my car. I want controls with actual knobs and buttons that I can use without having to divert my attention away from the road. By leaving off the touch screens and other distracting nonsense, you should be able to save enough on manufacturing costs to pass that savings onto your consumers. Cars already cost too much, and you keep adding unnecessary crap to them to justify raising the prices. That's why I keep maintaining my already-paid-off 1998 car.



So much this!
 
2013-05-07 06:19:49 AM

Dear Jerk: It just dawned on me that I should make one of those illegal cell phone jammers for when I have to pass a slowpoke who's yapping on a cell phone.



Any chance I could mount that on a bicycle and power it from a modern dynohub?


/ They're probably more dangerous furiously trying to redial anyway...
 
2013-05-07 06:30:39 AM

skozlaw: Fubegra: Keep a light touch on the gas at speed (cruise control didn't become standard until 2011), and it will reward you with fewer stops at the gas pump.

Which is the fundamental problem. People don't drive like that. I see it every day on my commute. They go full speed into stopped traffic and slam on the brakes at the last second, they lay on the gas when the line starts moving again and have to slam on the brakes 10 seconds later when it stops again, they race right up to red lights and stop signs, they let their speed drift up and down all over the place....

Hell, I have a fairly heavy full size coupe and I can get 30 mpg overall, which is about 20% better than the EPA estimate, just by not driving like a dickless a-hole and paying attention to more than just the car right in front of me so I can anticipate stops and slowdowns.

And taking this very basic level of care costs me like an extra 2 minutes of time each way because for all the effort required to weave around in traffic during rush hour you're just not getting that much farther ahead when it's so heavy.



What you described is one of the bigger reasons I have no interest in taking the bus. All the bus drivers drive like this. Don't they teach them how to drive? You've got 50 unrestrained passengers and you're going to floor it to go half a block to slam on the brakes for the stop light, AGAIN and AGAIN. I swear it is more of a workout to restrain myself and I get more beat up having my knees smashed against the seat in front of me again and again than it is for me to cycle the 8 miles up hill both ways.
 
2013-05-07 07:34:50 AM

Medic Zero: What you described is one of the bigger reasons I have no interest in taking the bus. All the bus drivers drive like this. Don't they teach them how to drive? You've got 50 unrestrained passengers and you're going to floor it to go half a block to slam on the brakes for the stop light, AGAIN and AGAIN. I swear it is more of a workout to restrain myself and I get more beat up having my knees smashed against the seat in front of me again and again than it is for me to cycle the 8 miles up hill both ways.


Maybe I'm giving bus drivers too much benefit of the doubt, but buses do have a strict schedule to keep with many stops, so it makes more sense for them to minimize the time between stops.  Subway trains aren't exactly gentle either.  Also, a lot of buses run on alternative energy with regenerative braking, so fuel efficiency isn't as big a concern.
 
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