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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

When new technology clashes with frugality

      Recently I sold my 12 year old car and bought a 2013 model.  The frugal part of me results in only buying different cars after holding on to the old one for at least 12 years.  What comes along with the newer models is the new technology.  My old car had a CD player but nowhere to plug in my MP3 player.  Now I realize that car manufacturers are even phasing out CD players the way they did with cassette players.
    So with my new car came a 123 page manual on the operation of the audio system.  Remember when all you had to know about your audio system (i.e. radio) was how to turn it on and change the radio station?  Now I have a port for my MP3 player, CD player, electrical plug in and a BlueTooth connection.  This week has finally given me the new development of answering my phone through my car audio system from my steering wheel.  OK, I know this technology has been around for a while but it has just caught up with me.   I started randomly calling family members to tell them I was talking and listening to them through my car audio system.   One big advantage is the quality of the sound for both of us.  I have always had trouble hearing others on my phone on speaker because of the poor quality sound systems on most phones.  This problem was even worse for the people on the other end.  This caused me to turn off the speaker function which presents a problem when driving.
       As mentioned earlier most of the audio system functions are now on my steering wheel.  I have tried learning how to operate this with the engine running in the driveway before trying it out driving but it will take some time to learn which arrow is for which function.   I keep changing the channel when I just want to adjust the audio volume.   I thought I was answering the phone when I actually hung up the caller.  Maybe multi-tasking while driving is as dangerous as we hear in the news.  And I haven't even mentioned dealing with navigation systems and surfing the web features in some cars these days.   Maybe it is time for self driving cars so we can focus on all the other distractions that we have in our cars today.
      Now back to the audio system manual.  I am up to page 63 and I haven't even started with the 183 page manual for the rest of the car!

     On almost every page in the manual is the warning about distracted driving being dangerous.  I guess the litigation lawyers for the car manufacturers have been all over this manual.

P.S. 1
     Now for a true political ad.

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