My Non-007 Car

A small piece of humor from Emerson’s Anand Iyer.

Emerson's Anand IyerMorning Fox News has some accident on some freeway. A few days ago, an overturned ethanol truck had given us a 1-hour drive (30 mins more than normal) to office. I see traffic news every morning, because my older car does not get all these… My new one has this feature, but I have yet to explore the same…

This morning, I come and turn on my office Dort… I do not hear the sweet voice “Welcome… Mr. Anand… And where do you want to go today?…” That was in a James Bond movie (Pierce Brosnan one) quite a while ago (Tomorrow never dies, 1997 more than ‘silver jubilee’ years ago)… Should have been there in every car now and would cost nothing today… maybe all of us have to work for Universal exports with Mr. James B for such perks…

I plan to get a car and the new Mazda 6 with front radar and lane detect seems quite interesting. Some good use of instrument and control technologies…

The roads are still dumb… I do not know if the car behind me has good brakes or not… The guy in the right line cuts in after he has entered the solid white line section…

South-Gessner-and-US90-Houston-TexasAnyway yesterday, I was driving in Houston, Texas and put on cruise on 35 mph on S Gessner near US 90, reach a down incline and speed goes up to 38 and then back to 34. The GPS has map and gradient, but does not feed the cruise control. Hmmmn… Lack of communication…

If the down gradient was for a longer duration, would there be a lower gear shift to slow down… I need to investigate on some road trip in the future… When I was employed in KSA, the traffic cops would wait patiently hidden from view at the end of some downhill sections and bingo, they generally got many over-speeding… I suppose, easy way to meet monthly targets…

What should it be like? My map app should be knowing the map, gradient etc. and feed an algorithm to the cruise control to cut gas off to have the same speed much before the gradient actually happens… feedforward control… Further, the radar should do some automatic slow down if the car in front slows down (when in such mode)… And the map device knows the speed limits (wrong speed limits in some cases as I observed yesterday)… so should set cruise speed setpoint to the max speed limit… And I detect a few bumps on the road (whom does the map device report to??)… Such a lack of intuitive processes Wake up, Detroit!

It seems that we have so many devices in this car that don’t talk with each other and so much missing instrumentation. And there is no one listening to my car… the records in VIN are not updated instantaneously but only when the car goes to a garage… Are we still in the wired ice age of the early 80’s? Thank god, we are not writing vehicle history reports and mailing through post to the VIN agency!!!

We as humans seem to be soooo slow in getting the technology across to different applications… the next step is taken after a very long time…

My non-007 car seems to be so lonely… Uncommunicative drivers and no one else to talk to because every other car is deaf (no input communication mechanism) , the roads are deaf(no input communications) and dumb (no output communication mechanism) and my car is also dumb (no output communication mechanism)…

Since my last trip to the US in 2006, the roads seem to have remained the same with lesser frequency of repairs… The roads have not become intelligent as I had hoped so at that time… Detroit seems to have been on a long, drug-induced sleep, to say the least, with some of the best innovation, last seen only in the “Trunk Monkey” compilation on You Tube… Hi carmaker, instrumentation, communication, feedforward control, wifi… Kapisch???

Well… Take a deep breath… exhale slowly… what we can infer… Communication between all the disconnected devices would be so necessary for any intuitive controls…

Posted Tuesday, June 11th, 2013 under Miscellaneous, Technologies.

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