Car Technology – What do you want to see?

Technology in the automobile has been amazing the past few years. From Apple and Android creating easy-to-use, familiar interfaces that integrate from your mobile device to steering-in-lane controls that guide your car within the lines on a road, the automobile is getting smarter to keep up with consumer technology and to keep us safer. Some cars even have mobile device wireless charging decks built into the vehicle’s center console! While nothing sounds better than charging your phone while also streaming music via Bluetooth to your speakers while also streaming your favorite navigation app on a long tip, where else do we need to go in regard to car technology? Is car tech just a mirror of consumer technology as in the case of smartphones and their various applications?

Some may say that autonomously driving vehicle is the next step in car technology, and that may be true. However, with consistent tragic wrecks taking place with self-driving technology, is this really the future? And what about engine technology? We don’t know what the future has in store, but I think we can all agree that maintaining the excitement of the automobile needs to remain a key factor in whatever technology emerges.

What are your thoughts? Please comment!

 

Drive Spiritedly.

-JRB

The Perfect Car?

What is the perfect car? Is that car even made or has it ever been made? When thinking of what the ideal car would be, one must understand what they want in a car. I will admit, this is somewhat of a subjective question. But honestly, what really isn’t subjective in some form or another? For the ideal car, it must be reliable. After all, cars, as part of their essence, are tools and means to get from point A to point B and back again. Unless you are transient and continue onto point C. Reliability brings up, in my mind at least, manufactures like Honda, Toyota, Subaru, older Chevrolets and Fords, and Mercedes-Benz. Another criteria on the list would be safety. Fortunately, there are several agencies that will happily give you ratings on the safety of vehicles from all sorts of angles and tests. Economy is another important criteria. You don’t want to burn through your wallet/purse as you go to work only to fill that wallet or purse back up again for the return trip home.

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However, I think one of the more important qualities that often gets overlooked is excitement. I don’t think this quality is necessary for a car, but it is necessary for the perfect car. If you grab your keys, head out the door, and the car doesn’t at least provide a little satisfaction or excitement during the process of driving, then that car becomes something less. It becomes nothing more than the terrible, unwieldy hammer in your workshop: a tool. Perhaps excitement is a luxury. However, this is your perfect car, and life is too short to not have some excitement even if it is on your daily commute. The great thing is that excitement in the automotive world comes in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges – you can have the reliability, the economy, and the safety while also having the excitement.

What is your perfect car? Please comment below! Don’t forget to follow and subscribe to this blog!

Drive Spiritedly.

-JRB

Wednesday Luncheon Post: What gives a car “soul?”

What gives a car “soul?” What is a “personality” in a car? When does a car not have a soul and personality? If you read a lot of automotive journalism, whether in the newspaper, on a blog, on a video online, or in a magazine, you sometimes notice that the phrase “the car has soul” or something similar appears. Can soul or personality even be engineered? And if yes, what does that mean? While some may claim that these questions are merely based on semantics or are too far into the weeds of philosophy, reviewers, writers, and journalists all seem, at one point of another, to make a decisive claim on this question. What becomes interesting is what determines or defines “soul” in a car. Is it the exhaust note that makes a car “souldful?” Is it the precise engineering that gives a car soul or take it away? Some claim a car has soul and personality due to the numerable flaws, break-downs, and “temperaments” of the car and claim “Oh look! Personality! It makes a fuss; it has a soul!” But do cars only have souls if they break or fall apart?

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While philosophical arguments can be made on either side of the question “Do cars have souls?”and take us into left field, I see that cars do in fact have souls and distinct personalities. This view isn’t based on the fact that cars break, have an exquisite exhaust note, or philosophical arguments. No. I believe that despite what engineering and physics may tell us about why a car does not have a soul, I remain and maintain optimistic belief that owners and drivers lend their own passion, zest, enthusiasm, and “soul” into their cars because of their love for them. Cars become more than machines at this point; they become extensions and mirrors of ourselves.

What do you think? Please comment below!

 

Drive Spiritedly.

-JRB, Editor.

 

Morning Drive

The Morning Drive. Freedom of Spirit. These two concepts seem to go hand-in-hand. Some days, you just want to wake up early before the sunrise, skip the toast and coffee, grab a set of keys and a jacket, head toward the garage, crank up your favorite car, and drive. No radio, no talking. Just you, your thoughts, the world, and your car. You may glimpse the sun as it rises above the clouds in the east and see it make the grass come alive as its light hits the morning dew. You think, perhaps, that it has just come out to greet you and wish you a fine day. You take a deep breath, relax, and as you hit some nice curves on a not-so-busy country road, you step back and allow the world to unfold.

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In these ethereal moments, this morning drive becomes more than just a random activity. It becomes a time of contemplation. You reflect on your past, your present, and your future. What will you do today? What needs doing? How is work going?  It becomes also a time of meditation. Sure, you can unleash the horses from the engine and make them wail, but instead you chose half-speed because it is just too early for all of that fury. This is your time. This a precious moment. You have been waiting all week for this. This is your morning ritual on a crisp, new Saturday. Perhaps it is the engine’s song that triggers your brain into this contemplative trance. Maybe it is the breeze hitting your face that compels you to go at that half-speed and allow your thoughts to catch up to your vehicle of choice.

Whatever the case may be, you can’t help but smile. Why? The sun is saying hello just for you, the birds are going about their morning business, the grass is dancing, and you are driving wherever your mind takes you.

Drive Spiritedly.

– JRB, Editor.