If it has knobs or buttons, your car may be trapped in the past
From smart keys to touchscreens, the cars we drive are changing so fast, a modern Rip Van Winkle would be lost in the driver’s seat of one the more advanced new cars. What would a 20-year sleeper think of the switchblade keys you get with an Audi, Volvo or Fiat these days and how long would it take him to figure out how to unlock it using the buttons on the key fob? Whatever happened to the keyhole?
Even in the $26K Fiat 500c, you can download the contacts in your smartphone and make phone calls safely while driving via simple voice commands. Some cars even allow you to hear and respond by way of voice recognition to text messages. Standard replies, such as “Driving can’t text” and “on my way,” are provided by Nissan Connect, using a hands-free Text Messaging Assistant.
The new generation of Mercedes vehicles, the 2013 GLK for example, have an iPad docking station mounted on the backs of the front seats, capable of tilting up to 90 degrees and recharging while you surf, according to an article by Larry Printz of The Virginia Pilot.
Indeed, parking sensors and rearview cameras are virtually standard equipment on cars costing over $30K. Knobs and buttons keep getting harder to find in today’s cars.