A computer crash in a car? Yes. That can happen; not the car, just the computer crashing; it’s true. But they can be re-booted just like our desk-tops or lap-tops.
Today’s cars, even cars from the last decade, have more microprocessors, more computing power and more memory than the astronauts had available during the flight to the moon, during the Apollo Missions.
Surely, you have experienced a computer crash. Come to think of it, it has not happened for a long time here; must be that Microsoft Windows® is getting better. Come to think of it, we should always add that ® to indicate that someone ‘owns’ the right to that name.
Anyway, that ‘four-colored windows thing’ is getting quite unfailing. There is no reason why that same operating system should not be just as consistent in a vehicle as it is on your desk or on your lap.
We all have become accustomed to WYSIWYG – what you see is what you get, the icons and symbols.
Most new cars and trucks, even motorcycles, have all manner of digital information built-in.
Automotive manufacturers are now gearing up for the next step: incorporating driver assistance systems into new models, right up to the vehicle taking control of a situation if the driver is not paying attention. A number of cars can already parallel-park – better than some drivers can. Eventually, this will culminate in self-driving cars, if the driver so requires.
New laws in the States of California, Florida and Nevada are permitting driver-less cars to “roam” on its streets. Volkswagen-Audi, Cadillac, Volvo, Google and possibly several others are testing cars of the computer-on-wheels-type, making the former VW slogan “Drivers Wanted” obsolete.
An Audi TT sportscar sprinted up the famous Pikes Peak hill climb ‘Race to the Clouds’ without a human in the car; the car made it up the 20 km stretch with 156 turns at an average speed of 75.6 km/h.
Several Universities are collaborating with various carmakers to develop systems, which eventually will make it possible, as in the airliners of today, to enter a destination and press ‘Enter’.
Microsoft is working with major manufacturers to unite today’s electronic infotainment systems with tomorrow’s ‘intelligent vehicle management systems’. In the not too distant future vehicles will ‘talk’ (electronically) with each other and with the infrastructure.
Do you remember the time when all cars had a crank in the trunk — just in case the electric starter did not work? …. Or the rotary telephone? Ask your children and be surprised about the response.