Minding Your Mood

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Memory seats are nice. But how about mood minders? In-car sensors that assess your state of mind via eye movements, facial expressions, gestures – even your rising (or falling) heartbeat – and adjust the car accordingly?

Some of this is already here.

A number of new cars come standard with “drowsy driver” monitoring systems. Cameras embedded in the dash watch you as you drive; if the system thinks you’re getting heavy-lidded or distracted, a chime will sound and a warning light (it’s often a coffee cup symbol) comes on.

Soon, it’ll be much more than just a light and a chime.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the next Great Leap Forward was on display. In addition to cameras watching you, infra-red sensors will soon register your metabolic rate as an indicator of agitation and if the car decides you’re too angry to drive, it pulls itself over.

For saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety! 

Be sure to maintain a vapid smile of contentment at all times – like Winston in Orwell’s 1984 – though even that might not be enough if the car can tell how you’re feeling inside, something even Orwell thought impossible back in 1948, when the novel was written.

This isn’t a dystopian vision. It’s actuality.

A number of new cars know it’s you – specifically – behind the wheel. Not just Driver A. Facial recognition tech scans and identifies you – and then adjusts the seats and so on accordingly.

The car keeps track of your preferences – and probably also your opinions. Think twice about what you say because there may be more than just you and your passenger in the car – and in on the conversation.

Soon, everything that goes on in a new car will be open source.

And so much more.

At CES, evolutions of the tech already deployed were on display. In addition to adjusting the seats, in-car AI can also adjust the drive – mellowing out the suspension settings for more comfort if the car senses your fatigue, increasing or decreasing airflow to perk you up – even auto-shading parts of the windshield to reduce glare on you, specifically.

It can make recommendations about where to eat – when it senses you are hungry – and which route is best (according to its judgement).

All of this is being presented – spoon fed – to “consumers” (a contemptuous term that ought to have aroused anger when it oleaginously began to replace buyers some 30 or so so years ago)  as just another convenience. BMW’s i Interaction EASE, for instance.

Yes – but for whom?

It is certainly convenient for the corporate-government nexus (which includes the insurance mafia but so much more) to be able to easily watch and hear and take note of everything you’re doing in your car – and to know how you’re feeling about it.

Don’t get mad, now!

It is the same sort of convenience parents desire to have with regard to keeping track of their children at all times – and prison guards of their inmates.

It doesn’t seem to occur to the vapid-smilers reporting on all the latest wonders that a car that can pull itself over because it’s decided you’re too drowsy – or angry – to drive can also pull you over for other reasons.

For any reason.

And whenever it likes.

It can also adjust your driving – regardless of your mood. This is also coming – is already here. Many new cars have speed limit “reminders” that will soon become speed limit enforcers. Right now, it’s only a flashing light in the dash. In the near future, it will be an accelerator pedal that pushes back – or an engine that doesn’t respond to you pushing down on the accelerator.

Also for ssssssaaaaaaaafety!

This has already been mandated for cars sold in Europe. It will not be confined to Europe.

Why do suppose almost all new cars are Internet connected? 4G now – and 5G soon. Not optional. It is all very . . . convenient. You’ll be able to look up the weather  . . . and the car will be looking up you.

All of that valuable data collected, transmitted – and sold.

They want to know everything, control everything and make a buck off everything they collect about you. They say the data collected is “secure” – and won’t be “shared” – in the manner of your Social Security number that will never be used “for purposes of identification.”

Look upon that thing in your garage as a kind of self-imposed passive interrogation suite with comfortable seats, a nice stereo and ambient mood lighting.

It doesn’t beat you with truncheons, 1984 style. That is too obvious, so old school. People give up more when they’re entertained and infantilized. Give them a “free” app – that comes with a trap. Pretty things to look at, soothing lights – and voices that tell them how very safe they’re being kept.

Cars – which once incarnated autonomy – are becoming the incarnation of its opposite. Which may be why so many people no longer like new cars – especially car guys.

Movement is lately confused with autonomy but they are not the same things. A Soviet bread line moved. A parade of goose-stepping North Korean soldiers moves. The bus – whenever it arrives – moves, too.

They all move without regard to your wishes. You get from A to B, certainly. Eventually. But you have no say over the how you get there – and the when is entirely out of your control.

Might as well be entertained.

The autonomous cars which existed until recently were different because their movements were autonomous. They were autonomously controlled by the driver – not the car.

Nothing was monitored. If you couldn’t sleep and decided to go for a midnight drive, no one knew about it – including the car. It simply took you wherever you pointed it, as fast or as slow as you wanted to go.

The inconvenience one paid for this was having to adjust the seats oneself. 

. . .

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  1. “A number of new cars come standard with “drowsy driver” monitoring systems. Cameras embedded in the dash watch you as you drive; if the system thinks you’re getting heavy-lidded or distracted, a chime will sound and a warning light (it’s often a coffee cup symbol) comes on.”

    Oh, so the smartphone zombies need their cars to tell them when they’re tired now? I guess when apps become smart enough to monitor one’s health, we’ll be hearing about more people dying of thirst and hunger when said apps glitch and “forget” to remind them when to eat and drink (Actually, that wouldn’t be a bad idea. The less idiots, the better). Gee, if only people were born with some natural “computer” inside their bodies that allowed them to think for themselves.

    “The inconvenience one paid for this was having to adjust the seats oneself.”

    Exactly! Hell, people can’t even be bothered to put a GD key into a switch and turn it anymore; a process that takes literally about two flipping seconds to do! So now every new car comes with that stupid “smart key” system standard. What’s next? Will the camera automatically throw the car into reverse if you turn to look behind you? Hey, at least you don’t have move the gear selector. lol

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: simplicity is the new luxury.

  2. I noticed after ULSD became the norm, a big rig made before it would respond to ATF in the fuel filters when you changed them in a positive way. It felt like a tune-up in a bottle. It doesn’t last long though. And ATF is too expensive to use as an additive.

  3. Appreciate everything we get from Eric, and do not doubt what he prints.

    But you need to know about some things the ‘industry’ is wringing its hands over.

    Its been mentioned before, but the ‘industry’ knows it cannot reliably use GPS and map data to monitor the sheeple. It was only in 2016 that many GPS/map projects were scrapped as technically unfeasible. The timeline eludes to the utter desperation of the ‘industry’, and the fact that they will try just about anything to get to your real-time data.
    Specifically VW Group (as Audi) and GM (likely Cadillac, based on some other info) were pushing hard for this to accomplish two things:
    – Real time traffic info.
    – Speed control.
    The crux of the problem is that various companies who own GPS and map data use it for monetization, and do not want that data getting out of their hands.
    During attempts at the ‘industry’ using GPS and map data it became clear that the data was squirreled away in private fiefdoms and could not be used for any mission-critical purpose.

    The second-level problem the ‘industry’ has is the internet. They will NOT give up on this, even after seeing the futility of many past initiatives such as Hydrogen fuel and GPS/map data.
    The ‘industry’ cannot make this work – network connections are not reliable and always stop working at some point without control of the driver or the ‘industry’.
    The first example of this failure is OnStar. Yes, it is integrated into your GM, but it is still dependent on a cellular phone connection.
    First gen models used 2G. Most models up until 2015 at GM used 3G. Other models like Hyundai, Kia, and some FCA still used 3G through 2016 model year.

    Many service provider disabled 2G, and in my state there is almost no 3G anywhere.
    Having 4G is still not a panacea and it will be replaced eventually.
    In a way, we have been unable to have a consistent standard which could be adopted by the whole ‘industry’ and remain the same for at least 10 year period.

    One car company is about to announce a partnership with Verizon for 4G services to the cars.
    This is no different than OnStar using 3G, and the problems are known and are the same:
    – Connectivity is not available in 100% of places where there are paved roads.
    – Bandwidth is usually limited during normal use. Makes it hard to plan how much data you want to pull, versus how much data you will probably be able to get.
    – Roaming is still a thing, and while there are no fees for the ‘industry’ it is a logistical issue which ensures data is not guaranteed to be delivered.
    – Storage is a bitch in cars. There are many software systems, but most are designed to be stateless so that engine on/off is not a problem. Only a small set of data is stored in NVRAM, and it has to be designed so that no other function depends on the stored data.
    (so you can’t brick the car due to a software bug)
    Various ideas about storing data until the vehicle has an internet connection have been proven long ago to not work. Most of that was figured out in 2005 by the VW Group, and the ‘industry’ knows not to try that again.

    And there are a million little cuts to the idea of internet-connected stuff which don’t work at all in a vehicle.

    So look, no matter what you Hear, the ‘industry’ has no idea or technology which could be used to control your speed, or record everything you do over the internet. Nothing they have tried is reliable, and nothing currently planned will solve the issues in my lifetime.
    You can spend $10 and defeat every thing transmitting or receiving to/from ANY device, and it takes about 10 minutes to do.

    And doing so will cause you and your car ZERO problems.

    • 5G, Starlink. Covered.

      Disable tracking? Sure. And as soon as a ‘ghost’ vehicle is noticed, it will be hunted down and busted for non-compliance with whatever tracking laws will be tied to using ‘your’ vehicle.

      • Eaxctly what I was thinking. They’ll just make it a federal felony to remove or circumvent the “connectivity” devices, just like they already have with airbags and catalytic converters. Make examples of just enough people to scare most of the rest into line. Eventually people will get used to it and it will become the new normal.

  4. Eric,

    The future modifications being made to cars scare me–especially when they are standard equipment and there is no way to buy cars without them.

    The solution is simple: make the equipment optional, the way many items that are now standard used to be. Was it that long ago when even the basic AM radio was optional?!? If people really want these modifications (“enhancements” is too kind of a word), they’ll buy them as dealer or aftermarket options, and he automakers will respond accordingly. Until then, let them be options, pure and simple.

    • Gilmore, that used to be a reputable company that backed A.J. Foyt.

      I saw a subaru WRX on the highway to the hellhole that is my wife’s notion of “having a place for family”. The wag had a sticker on the back warning other drivers that he/she is a learner drive that may undertake state defined automobile maneuvers while a learner. I laughed for quite a while that perplexed my wife. It was enough to get my drooping eyes slightly perked up for the rest of the trip.
      You don’t have any Gilmore engines lying about do you?

      • Lucky for me that I saw that warning sticker before I got too close to Capitol City. The douche bags around Madison have lots of bumper stickers and if one is observant you can get extra points for O’bama 2008 stickers on well maintained cars that have not completely rusted out.
        When I see them I want to try that cop manouver to turn them off of the road.
        The dumb cops refuse to give credit to the great American, Dale Earnhardt for teaching the fatsos in black to perfect this.

    • “Was it that long ago when even the basic AM radio was optional?!?”

      No, it wasn’t. I’m only 31 and even I remember when some base model pickups came without them up until around the early 2000’s.

  5. Someday used cars are going to cost more than new ones, because everyone will want a used car instead of these new pieces of crap.

    • Doubtful. The auto industry lobby would have pols ban old cars or severely restrict their use. It is already underway in Europe.

      The rich will still be able to have collector cars through some exemptions that the little people won’t be allowed.

      Here in BC I can have my old “collector” plated car, but I can only have a “collector” plates if I have a non-collector plated vehicle as well. By law, I am also only allowed to drive my collector car for pleasure.

      • Can you just put normal plates on the old car?

        I know there are some places in the world that don’t allow that, but here in Alaska, to the best of my knowledge, you can put normal plates on pretty much any passenger car or light truck (in fact you have to if you want a vanity plate) for the normal price. Said normal price is so cheap relative to some other places even in the US that I’m really not sure why you’d put the old-car plates on anything unless you really do just take it to a few shows a year and nothing else.

        • For now, yes, any car can be plated. The collector plates allow insuring the vehicle at at about 1/4 the cost of a primary vehicle, but you still have to have a plated primary vehicle. Otherwise you have to plate the collector car at normal rates.

          My point is this is how it will likely be done. Eventually you will be allowed to have your old vehicle but will be only allowed to go to car shows or for a drive to nowhere practical. I would have to check the exact text but IIRC going grocery shopping in your collector plated car is not allowed. A ‘new’ car will still be required.

  6. Thank God I’m old and rapidly approaching imminent croakage.

    Actually, I rather doubt that the dystopian future our minders have planned for us will ever some true, at least as long as we still have the 2d Amendment, which was created as written precisely to prevent this nightmarish future from ever becoming reality. Our foppish minders, located mainly around the DC beltway, would love to do away with the 2d, then the 1st in order to keep us marching in lockstep to their cadence.

    • Looking closely the 1st, 4th, pretty much the 5th, (except for the politicians) the 6th, the 7th and lately the 8th are pretty much history. The 1st half of the 2nd is gone and now their working hard on the 2nd part.

      The Patriot Act and the NDAA wipes out most of them.

  7. Jesus, it really is the matrix.
    Does anybody really think this stuff is good? The object is to reduce autonomous and sovereign individuals into a herd of dumb animals.
    And Virginia, stand with manly firmness. Make them come for you.

  8. A buddy and I are planning to realize a life-long dream and motorcycle across the country. In preparation for this I’ve been testing out a few things such as my camp gear and using an anonymous pre-paid flip phone. I want to be able to wander without the eye of Sauron on me. I even removed the tuner after flashing the right map for my mods.

    My first test ride was to a state park. They wouldn’t take cash for a camp site, even while I was standing right there in front of them observing that the gubmint’s own fiat note says “for all debts public and private”. Nope, no cash. Back in the late ’70’s & through the ’80’s I traveled the country working mostly for cash!

    There doesn’t seem to be a way out of this net. Anonymity is a thing of the past and freedom of movement is right on its heels. They don’t even try to conceal it anymore.

    • “For all debts public and private”

      Guv Lawyers got a hold of that and twisted it like they do everything. If no service provided then there is no debt then they don’t have to take the guv fiat. Great logic,,, no? According to goobermint there is no law that requires anyone to take the fiat. Years ago they were require to take coins as well for payment. Today they won’t, saying it’s too bothersome. Difference? Well back then coins were really worth something,,, they contained silver. Got rid of that in the 60s claiming to be saving money. Yep, the lemmings bought that as well. Of course all this was twisted BS to make way for the great digital revolution the lemmings luuuvvv today so much. If you are observant you can see the chest bulge with pride when they use their Ishit to pay for something while holding everyone else up.

      Okay, so much for remembering a better time,,, back on the subject…..

      If you have the money you can sue the State especially if you are a resident taxpayer as they are using your money in the first place. Believe me, the little they collect at the gate won’t pay the salary of those Ranger AGWs, much less for the park and in my opinion all State and Federal Parks should be free of any entrance fees like they once were. It’s just another way to let you know who your daddy is. Kind of like income taxes now that they’re outright printing money. All digital,,, of course. We can print prosperity don’t ya know.
      They started this years ago and as usual the sheep went along. Today it’s normal so few think about it,,, hell few even think! It’s whatever goobermint wants. Man,,, I just can’t stay on the subject! 🙂

      • PS. Also,,, The newer generations have some trouble with numbers and money. Be easy on them. Do not!, do not!, don’t!….. give them extra change to make it easier. You know,,, like giving them two cents to get you a even quarter or whatever. You’ll lock up a register for hours. Don’t ask me how I learned that….

    • “They wouldn’t take cash for a camp site, even while I was standing right there in front of them observing that the gubmint’s own fiat note says “for all debts public and private”. Nope, no cash.”

      God, I hate that! Personally, I prefer having the option to pay either cash or card. However, if you tell me that you don’t accept cash, you pretty much just told me that you don’t want my money simply because I’m not “hip” or “with it”. Thankfully, there are still some establishments that only accept cold, hard cash as payment. Every time I see “CASH ONLY”, it’s like a breath of fresh air. And for those wondering “what if I don’t have enough cash on me”, well, go to the nearest ATM. My pops always told me to have enough cash on me (not too much, though) to make do in case of emergency.

      Cash is bulletproof, and most importantly, untraceable. Hence why TPTB wants to get rid of it.

  9. I have to laugh at the speed enforcement dictates that will be standard on cars. I can go on virtually any x-way, set my cruise to 70 and nearly every vehicle will eventually pass me. Even some trucks where the limit is 65 for them. I have done this in numerous states when driving as an expediter. Cars usually travel in packs (safety in numbers, I guess) and as one pack passes by the next will soon do the same. I have a difficult time believing that most drivers will want to do the speed limits, even on the surface streets. It’s pretty much mindless driving and the idea that going a few miles faster gets you there quicker. Maybe if you are driving over hundreds of miles with clear sailing. I can understand the need and desire for speed, the thrill of driving fast, but the nanny state is beyond stupid. It’s the control freaks who cannot stomach that anyone does something different than they do. Just who is behind the nanny state? Big government for sure, but who exactly is responsible? Are there actual knuckleheads making these decisions? Any sane, rational person would be getting upset with the nanny state and sure my facial expressions might be contorted…but that is my concern, not Big Brother’s.

    • I-10 and I-20 in Texas away from the large metros packs average 90mph. Even some truckers hang at that speed. It feels safe too, the only unsafe ones are doing 65 or 70 flat slowing everyone down.

      • So,,, one has the ‘right’ to do 90 but another has no right to do 70? That seems pretty one way. We all paid taxes for the road. Yes?

        • Yep, I am constantly doing 20 over passing cops in my morning commute, who themselves are doing 15 over. Only thing is my commute is against the flow of traffic so there are few cars on our side and everyone knows it, so we all go 80 in a 60 zone, cops don’t mind.

        • Yeah, but if you’re traveling 70 mph on a road designed to take people at 90, you’re clogging the road. You should pay more. Better yet, I propose a toll road with no speed limits and a strict get the hell out of the left lane policy. That way, the exchange is purely voluntary.

          • The rules need to change for highways. Should be “if you are hit from behind in the passing lane, it is your fault”. Get out of the way.

            BC has new laws about travelling in the passing lane when not passing, making it an offense. Has not worked. My idea would change that.

          • The new toll road in Texas was going to have no speed limit. Then the state govt. went off the deep end and insisted it be monitored by the DPS. It’s 85mph. I haven’t been on it and hope I never will be. I don’t want to be any closer to Austin than absolutely necessary.

      • On certain sections of Texas highways, drivers can be found traveling at 80-90. Others they are running 70. It depends on the road and traffic levels. In Houston, you get wide variations in speed. The majority are a tad under 70, many are at 80. Mostly in the right lane. In Dallas, with 70 mph speed limits, they pretty much hover at that speed. Sometimes below. Again, there are outliers there, but the traffic in Dallas has always been slower. The irony is that the speed limits are higher in DFW than in Houston. Forget about Austin. That place is too weird for me.

        • A week before the speed limit on I-10 was increased from 55 to 70 outside of Houston, one of my coworkers was ticketed for going over 55. What a joke.

              • I’m genuinely curious, how has the deaths per million miles driven changed? At all? Up or down. The last couple times I’ve gone to Texas, I find that my driving skills aren’t up to it living in the far north where 60 is the norm. (75 on interstates, but I don’t spend that much time on the superslab, and there is almost no traffic up here anyway so 75-80 on the 4 lane interstate is not much of a challenge).

                • Hi Erehwon!

                  It’s hard to know – because statistics are no longer honest – if they ever were. Fatality rates are increasing – probably because driver attentiveness is waning. But I’d like to “slice” the stats into sections that separate out fatalities involving cars built since say circa 2015 (which have the various “assists”) and earlier models. But NHTSA doesn’t do it that way…

      • There’s a potential big problem brewing with trucks going at high speeds. Many tires for Class 7 and Class 8 rigs come from China (uh oh) and have a maximum speed rating of 75 mph (big uh oh). These tires are in wide use because, well, they’re the cheapest.

        There was a news story a couple of years ago about certain Western states raising speed limits to 80 in some stretches. It said state government representatives were unaware of the truck tire speed rating being the same as or lower than the new state speed limit.

        This is one reason among others why I doubt we’ll see speed limits raised above where they are now, let alone eliminated. It took a long time for Virginia to restore the old pre–1974 limit of 70 mph on its rural interstates; it stayed at 65 for many years. The 85–mph limit on the Texas toll road is claimed to be the highest posted speed limit in the Western Hemisphere.

        As self-driving cars and connected vehicles that can be remotely controlled by TPTB get rammed down our throats, this discussion is going to be more and more academic.

  10. In a world where the children are taught they don’t have to “work” for a living, because government will take care of them, what should one expect? Whatever problems you may suffer are someone else’s fault. You see it in local news all the time. “His/her car left the road and hit a telephone pole”. No it didn’t, you drove it off the road, dumb ass. Well, unless you’re “driving” a late model car WITH all the driver control mods. Unfortunately, the current average driver warrants such features on cars. I’m utterly convinced the the opioid crisis has hit the highways. One need not drive far before witnessing a driver committing completely dumb fuck shit. Hell, 90% of them can’t muster the effort to correctly use a turn signal.

  11. An easy way around all the nanny bullshit would be to build an intake manifold and put a carburetor on it, also a distributor, perhaps driven by the serpentine belt or the timing chain? Really quite simple when you get down to it.

    • a carburetor is the single worst waste of metal that was put on cars. the Japs were the only ones on their small engines to make cars almost as good as fuel injection. American cars with junk carbs were a disaster. a hand choke made them somewhat tolerable

      • State laws are coming that will make anything with a carburetor subject to confiscation on sight, especially in counties with emission testing.

          • I have no idea what Vonu means but you can be sure that at some point in the not to distant future, yes. And it won’t be just because it has a carb, but age. ACTUAL EMISSIONS WON’T MATTER.

            Look at Europe and what they are doing. Yes, you can keep your old car. Of course USING your old car will be restricted severely.

            Paris is banning old cars from the city already, and not very old either.
            Note the change in 2020. Ooops, it is 2020. No cars older than 10 years.

            London already has taxed to death old stuff but gives a free pass to anything they decree is ‘green’. See Congestion Charging.

            China will let you have a plate for EVs, but if you want a ICE car, there is a lottery system to get plates. Last I knew, chance of winning a plate was 0.3%. This one slays me because the EVs in China really are coal powered for the most part.

        • Not so fast, there, Bunky ! Not every state (let alone every county) has emissions testing.
          And if the ‘laws’ get too onerous, it may become a capital crime to pull a driver over. Some of us do not kowtow to every statists’ whims. Ask the original Boston Tea Partiers.

  12. Eric
    Have a comment that claims awaiting moderation. Is because of the links?

    The comment contains info about the situation in Richmond. The links are legit. Course if you want the site to remain neutral I understand. Read it and see what you thing… It’s short.

    • The Monday rally?

      If so I sent him a a link to the Governor’s executive order PDF.

      Either he is having a drink to calm down or his keyboard is melting as he bangs out a rant about this. Or both. I know I did.

      • TB, it seems that I can post most links but if I try to post a link like this, the same as this site “feedblitz@mail.feedblitz.com” it considers it Spam and rejects it. Makes it damn difficult to refer to the legal site GritsforBreakfast.com in regards to some article here or conversation.

        The last two days though is another matter. I don’t envy eric on solving the problem.

  13. FYI- Everyone…

    Sh*ts heating up in Richmond. Coonman is on the warpath. Outlawing all weapons,,, Changing he requirement for recall elections,,, basically throwing the social finger at the citizens. If anyone is going to the protest be extremely careful. Those cops are today’s stormtroopers and will kill you in a NY second.



    I think Matt Bracken has a good common sense take.


    • Welp let’s see what happens. I’ve been too poor to buy anything from good ol Springfield Arms.
      Too busy having kids. ZH comment was right, Trump can win 2020 early by going there too!

  14. The next step will be printing out a ticket for any perceived violation as in “Demolition Man”, or if you really piss off the computer locking you into the car and driving straight to the nearest police station. I wonder if disconnecting and grounding the antenna so it can’t connect to its real owner will automatically disable the engine. Don’t know how much longer I can keep my 20 year old Corolla going, runs great but the rust is starting to get to it; I refuse to be driven by Big Brother.

      • “If you are going to disconnect the antenna, what good would be grounding it?”

        My guess is to neutralize any incoming signals so he can drive in “stealth” mode.

  15. Ain’t it odd that fElon still has not put this in his cars to make sure people using AutoCrash keep their hands on the wheel as required?

    Anyone know what fElon drives? Is it a Tesla? Can we eagerly await the day he plows into a stationary object?

  16. I saw a lady in a parking lot fire up her Truck via remote, then spent 5 – 10 minutes loading groceries and lollygagging around. Looked around when she started it to see if anyone was around to see it,,, lucky me. She smiled, and you could tell inside was bursting at the seams with pride. Probably has ASS to save the fuel she just burned idling. Americans have been so dumbed down at our indoctrination centers they believe this nanny BS is a good thing. The dumbasses actually buy cars today because of these things then use the excuse they had too as there was no other choices.

    I can guarantee you the first time a car pulls itself over because its sensors indicate I am angry it will never ever be capable to do so again after I am finished modifying it using a 10lb sledge hammer and crowbar or anything else that is at hand.

  17. Until the tech is mandated, and older cars are no longer allowed to be on the roads, we still have a choice to vote with our wallets.

    And it seems to me that’s exactly what’s happening. New car sales are abysmal.

    • Are they? Over 17 million new vehicles were sold last year. Who knows what 2020 will bring, but I doubt it will be like recessionary levels of 10 million sold in 2008-09 or 8 million in 1974-75, the last two times car sales took a real hit. Maybe this year we will see sales sharply drop. In a good economy, they may drop 20 percent if people are becomng oversaturated with product.

    • Anon,
      One horrible thought I had driving recently was that they would keep changing the fuel composition of our gas or start mandating additives in gas that to the commoner are double plus good, but are actually destructive agents for engine parts. What I mean, they would start putting stuff in gas that would start eating our engines and force them to break down early. Wouldn’t put it past them.

      • They already did something like that to diesel. ULSD means unless you add a lubricant to modern diesel, old diesels wear out much faster than with the old stuff. It can be mitigated with additives but we know how much attention people pay to care, maintenance and proper fuel for vehicles in general, so many old diesels die a premature death from ignorance.


        They also have done in many an old car with E85. Again, how many normal folks out there pay any attention to the labels on the pump or what the car manual says to use when they fill up?

      • Rislone sells oil additives for flat tappet push rod engines with extra zinc additives. I always see those ULSD on the pump but never understand the mechanics. I’m sure they did it for “environmental clean air” reasons but knew well and good it lowered lubricity of the fuel.

        • Taking sulfur out to the extent required takes all kinds of other slip compounds and modifiers out too.

          But for some reason they don’t add slip agents and modifiers back after taking out the sulfur. Cost I suspect. though I also expect that they take the removed stuff, bottle it and sell it back to those aware at 10x the cost.

  18. So now I’m going to have to bring duct tape to test drive cars to see if it will drive with the camera covered.
    I’m guessing they will have to have a ‘sell car’ mode that disables some of this crazy crap or some people might not buy it.

    • Why use duct tape for what a sticky dot will do?
      I bought a lifetime supply of sticky dots for a dollar at a Dollar Tree several years ago.
      If you own a smartphone, never mind.

  19. I wonder whether this is a phase we’re going through, like fins on cars in the 50’s or vinyl tops in the 70’s. This stuff seems cool for a while, but then people realize that it stinks. These driver monitoring systems and various assists make the car a chore to drive, since it’s always nagging you.

    • Hi Opl,

      “I wonder whether this is a phase we’re going through, like fins on cars in the 50’s or vinyl tops in the 70’s”.

      Unfortunately, I suspect not. Manufacturers seem to be designing in anticipation of future government fatwa’s, rather than, sometimes whimsical, buyer preference.


    • Your problem is obvious. You have a Prozac deficiency. Soon, the police will have bottles of them to shove down your throat, if you won’t swallow.

  20. Thats true – i do find some of these innovations amazing. but its a shame it tends to be all or nothing…. and as you say id go for nothing….

    • You better hurry, because the majority of traded in cars that aren’t immediately saleable with nothing more than a detailing are going to a crusher to create a demand for the parking lots full of late models. Most older vehicles are somebody’s daily driver, and you ain’t gonna buy them for any amount of money.

  21. I like the auto-adjusting seats, and Really Like the automatic glare reducing windshield.

    But since we can’t order a la carte, let’s skip the whole thing. 🙂

      • As you may recall that was S.O.P. until the last couple of decades when all-inclusive “trim levels” became the norm. Before then one could mix and match options on a new car as desired.

    • MikePizzo if that is really your name you can keep your auto seats and your air conditioning and most of all your magic windscreen. I will settle for electric windows as my only luxury and can pack a Sony portable radio for listening to my AM stations. If you must need backup cameras your kids are not worth the extra cost.


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