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Amazing Things Your Automobile Can't Do

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @02:42PM (#10633299)
    If you're going to drive an urban assault vehicle, then get off the phone & keep your eyes on the road.
  • by Xpilot (117961) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @02:42PM (#10633303) Homepage
    I haven't read the article, but I assume American cars won't have ejection seats, machine guns and rocket launchers hidden with a flip of a switch like those British Aston Martins have.
    • by dcphoenix (528517) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @02:56PM (#10633477)
      .....American cars won't have ejection seats, machine guns and rocket launchers.....

      Why bother using a foreign car to blow stuff up and get tossed into the air? Buy American - get a Pinto!!
      • by GeckoX (259575)
        Any that are still and haven't blown up already are probably lemons anyways.
      • by Erik Hollensbe (808) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @03:08PM (#10633638) Homepage
        I had a buddy who was a gear head and use to race drag when we were in high school...

        His car? A pinto. The car is so damned light that it beats a lot of muscle cars for the 1/4, and nothing, I mean nothing, is worth more than the look on the face of someone who was just beaten by a car known far as wide for it's lack of anything worthy.

        I get a similar feeling when people realize they were just owned by my wife at CS. :)
        • by neolith (110650) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @06:11PM (#10635880) Homepage
          His car? A pinto. The car is so damned light that it beats a lot of muscle cars for the 1/4, and nothing, I mean nothing, is worth more than the look on the face of someone who was just beaten by a car known far as wide for it's lack of anything worthy.

          I get a similar feeling when people realize they were just owned by my wife at CS. :)


          I personally can't wait to find out what happens when your geeky wife logs onto slashdot and finds you implicitly comparing her to something known far and wide for its lack of anything worthy. Buddy, are you in for the "-1, flamebait" of your life...
        • I had a buddy who was a gear head and use to race drag when we were in high school...

          Cut to buddy wearing high heels...

    • For a "reasonable" fee I would be willing to install some "aftermarket modifications" for you ;)
  • Glad (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jdc180 (125863) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @02:43PM (#10633307)
    I'm GLAD that those features aren't available in the US. I don't need the added worry that they guy in the car next to me is reading slashdot, or trying to keep up with the lyrics on some karaoke song!
    • Re:Glad (Score:5, Funny)

      by SlamMan (221834) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `tigiuqs'> on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @02:47PM (#10633356)
      But I have to admit, people around DC drive like they're trying to play Dance Dance Revolution.
      • I don't think "driving" is the right word. Driving implies a sence of trying to get to a destination, the people here in DC are wrecking, which is the act of looking for a way to be involved in an accident.
    • Re:Glad (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jd (1658)
      That is true. On the other hand, they're probably fishing around for a DVD for the back-seat player, gurgling along to their latest pop favourite on the CD player, watching the RADAR detector device, hoping that red-light camera fooler works... It doesn't help that many US drivers think "speed limit" refers to how many drugs you can take...

      American drivers manage to be dangerous, even without all the fancy extras. The threat of lawsuits against manufacturers deters innovation but a lawsuit against an indi

      • Re:Glad (Score:3, Informative)

        by The_K4 (627653)
        Here [washingtonpost.com] are some interesting results of a study of distracted drivers causing an accident:
        Rubbernecking: 16 percent
        driver fatigue: 12 percent
        looking at scenery: 10 percent
        other passengers or children: 9 percent
        adjusting the radio, cassette or CD player: 7 percent

        So does all the fancy extras include windows? radios? passanger seats?
    • Re:Glad (Score:5, Informative)

      by Bobman1235 (191138) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @03:11PM (#10633684) Homepage
      I'm GLAD that those features aren't available in the US. I don't need the added worry that they guy in the car next to me is reading slashdot, or trying to keep up with the lyrics on some karaoke song!

      The point is, that guy next to you CAN do all those things (read : laptop?), BUT that guy won't take responsibility for his.... LACK of responsibility, he'll blame the manufacturer of the device that's "distracting" him. There ARE applications where these toys would be fun and SAFE to have, but in the States we have to worry about liability for EVERYTHING, and it's restricting more and more markets.
    • by TiggertheMad (556308) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @03:47PM (#10634117) Homepage Journal
      You read those comments by the Europeans in the article! Inflamitory! They are suggestiong that, we Americans, are irate little hot heads that would litigate for trifiling nusances. I won't stand for it, I'm going to sue them for slander!

      ...uh..never mind....
    • Re:Glad (Score:3, Informative)

      by Teun (17872)
      I'm GLAD that those features aren't available in the US

      Yet in the USofA it's still legal to use your hand held cell phone while driving, in most developed(!) European countries only hands free phones are allowed.
      Big companies like BP and Shell have now disallowed hands free as well because statistics show they're just as distracting and dangerous as hand helds.
      So it's only a matter of time for these European countries to follow suit and write it into law.

      But I can say that just about every trip I make

  • Video would be nice (Score:3, Interesting)

    by erick99 (743982) <homerun@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @02:43PM (#10633308)
    I would like to be able to watch tv or other video when stuck in traffic. Having the video system turn off once the car starts moving over 3mph sounds like a great idea. But, here in the US, you can sue anybody for anything and stand a good chance of winning so I understand the car makers reticence.
    • by AuMatar (183847) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @02:48PM (#10633363)
      A system like that wouldn't be too bad. The problem is those that don't stop at over 3 miles an hour. The minute the driver can watch TV, you'll see a huge spike in accidents. We're better off without these features.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @02:56PM (#10633486)
      "here in the US, you can sue anybody for anything and stand a good chance of winning..."

      Between 95 and 97 percent of all lawsuits filed end in settlement [mediationtools.com].

      80% of all lawsuits are filed by businesses, not individuals. These suits are usually not brought because of their merit, but because they have some business purpose. For example, maybe someone wants to buy a piece of property for less than the offering price. They bring a suit against the party selling the property, that in some way casts the ownership of the property in doubt. Even though their suit is groundless, while the seller is waiting for the case to come up and be dismissed they can't sell the property. The plaintiff makes an offer for less than the property's worth, and the seller concedes. An attorney friend of mine handled just such a case.

      We live in a litiginous society not because individuals sue others so readily, but because businesses use groundless or just-barely-justifiable lawsuits as weapons against their competition, and because lawyers love lucrative class-action suits. Dismiss the frivolous suits within days instead of months or years, and make class-action suits less lucrative for greedy lawyers, and a lot of these lawsuits would disappear.
      • by Quixote (154172)
        Between 95 and 97 percent of all lawsuits filed end in settlement.

        That's because the cost of lawyers is so high that it often makese sense to settle.

        If you sue a company for $1000, it will cost the company more to just file a response in the court. The company might be better off just giving you the $1000 to go away (and never come back).

  • i dont want the people passing me watching TV while they're driving. the only thing they should be doing is driving. i dont want cars that park themselves, and i dont want cars that alert me when i'm getting sleepy. its unfortunate that the move is cowardly, but fortunate that it's the safer result.
    • Re:good! (Score:5, Funny)

      by Eccles (932) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @03:17PM (#10633755) Journal
      i dont want the people passing me watching TV while they're driving.

      The European system shuts off if the car is going more than 3 MPH. If you're getting passed by someone going 3 MPH, perhaps you should just pedal your Big Wheel a bit faster?
  • by Delta-9 (19355) * <delta9@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @02:43PM (#10633314)
    "This device automatically parks the car, maneuvering the Prius backward and into the space. To activate it, the driver first pulls alongside the forward vehicle, then drags a picture of a flag marker and parking triangle on the car's touchscreen display, until they are positioned where the vehicle should wind up."
  • Superflous. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Raven42rac (448205) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @02:44PM (#10633320)
    I really want my car to do 1 thing, get me from point A to point B, reasonably efficiently and safely. A modicum of comfort does not hurt either.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Let's just hope that car blow jobs aren't in that list ;)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @02:44PM (#10633327)
    One thing that is very cool that they have in Europe is 'TMC' -- radio stations will broadcast traffic alerts on where there is bad traffic. This will automagically update the route computers in most cars' naviation systems to find an alternate route around the traffic jam. No-one in the states has it, but it is standard with all VW/Audi/Skoda/Seat NAV+ units in the EU. Absolutely shameful.
  • Tort Reform Redux (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geomon (78680) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @02:45PM (#10633331) Homepage Journal
    The tort system does need revision, but the only proposal I've seen so far gives relief exclusively to corporations. For tort reform to work, it will have to include:

    1) eliminating slap suits,
    2) limiting damages that individuals must pay to corporations (what's good for the goose, etc), and
    3) shifting the burden of proof from the defendant to the plaintiff (same as for criminal cases).

    Then I can support tort reform.

    Otherwise tort reform is yet another corporate bailout.

    • by Maestro4k (707634) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @02:53PM (#10633422) Journal
      • The tort system does need revision, but the only proposal I've seen so far gives relief exclusively to corporations.
      While I agree that we need Tort reform in general, in this case I don't see the threat of lawsuits as a problem. Frankly these are things that aren't needed in cars, especially not for the driver. Even with reasonable restrictions in place (shutting off the video when the car goes faster than 3mph) wouldn't stop idiots from killing themselves and others because of these distractions.

      While a lot of the resulting carnage would probably be from people disabling built in safety restrictions, ultimately it's hard not to blame the company for selling something like a TV screen built-in to a car for the driver's usage. In this case the fear of lawsuits is probably helping to prevent many, many deaths due to unnecessary, distracting, potentially deadly car accessories.

    • Re:Tort Reform Redux (Score:4, Informative)

      by SlamMan (221834) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `tigiuqs'> on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @02:55PM (#10633453)
      The burden of proof is on the plaintiff in civil cases. The issue is that a civil case quit requires a "preponderance of evidence" to win, versus "beyond a reasonable doubt" for a criminal case.
    • by TopShelf (92521)
      2) limiting damages that individuals must pay to corporations (what's good for the goose, etc),

      Is that really a problem? Haven't heard too many egregious instances of individuals getting hit with massive judgements against them by corporations. The only ones that come to mind are the copyright infringement suits that allege zillions in damages. On the other side of the coin, however, you have individual executives who get sued by their former employers and shareholders (like the Computer Associates an
    • by dpilot (134227) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @02:59PM (#10633524) Homepage Journal
      Has the lawsuit taken on some of the roll of a lottery in the US? Winning a lawsuit becomes like winning the Jackpot.

      In the old days, you worked hard, and you got ahead. IMHO, that's no longer true, for the most part. You usually can't get ahead without working hard, but 'merely' hard work is no longer sufficient. More and more, it also takes connections an luck - being in the right place at the right time with the right idea. Furthermore, simply knowing how to build the better mousetrap isn't enough either, you have to also know how to market that mousetrap, or at least license its IP.

      All in all, I suspect the American Dream is getting farther and farther away, for most Americans. Is the increasing number of state-run lotteries because of legal relaxations, or is it because more people are giving up on earning their way up, and figure their odds are about as good gambling their way up? Consider lawsuits in that light...
      • by normal_guy (676813) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @03:33PM (#10633919)
        You could never work hard your entire life as a coal miner and expect to get ahead. Connections, personality, and motivation have always been the hallmarks of those able to move up a rung. Many people still invent things then sell the patent to a corporation. Lotteries have always been around. People want to spend a few bucks for a chance to win a few million. Laws have relaxed because they're huge revenue draws for the state.

        This Office Space philosophy smacks of wage slave desperation. There has always been a working class - and the need to claw your way up the way everyone else has, by buying a nice suit and playing golf with the boss once in awhile. Lawsuit-lotteries or no, there will always be those looking for the easy way out.

    • Re:Tort Reform Redux (Score:4, Interesting)

      by dpilot (134227) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @03:04PM (#10633582) Homepage Journal
      I like your suggestions, and I have one more...

      Last I heard, something like 6% of doctors were causing 66% of the malpractice payouts. Yet what ends up happening is that a hospital hides the records, in order to move the doctor elsewhere. The doctor has no visible blackmark, and is free to continue practicing (Perhaps the ordinary meaning of 'practice' is appropriate, here.) medicine.

      If I mess up at my profession and am 'encouraged' to leave, the black mark would follow me. Doctors should be the same, if there's some clear indication of incompetence or negligence. I'll presume that that 6% of doctors isn't a matter of 'bad luck,' it's the bottom of the bell curve, and those people shouldn't be doctors.
    • Re:Tort Reform Redux (Score:5, Interesting)

      by donutello (88309) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @03:57PM (#10634265) Homepage
      One of the biggest problems with the current tort system is the cost of the proceedings in and of themselves. In many, many cases, it is far more economical for the insurance company to settle out of court even when the plaintiff has no case.

      A couple of true stories I have personal knowledge of:
      - A friend's girlfriend ate something that gave her food poisoning at a restaurant while traveling. On the flight back, she got violently ill and had to be admitted to a hospital. A few days later, the airline (I believe it was Northwest) called her and offered her $10,000 if she promised not to sue them. This, inspite of the fact that it was not their fault - she hadn't eaten anything on the plane.
      - A partner in my brother-in-laws real estate firm took a client (a lawyer) out to look at houses. While they were driving, they got into a minor fender bender. 6 months later, the lawyer sued the real estate agent complaining of neck pain - inspite of the fact that a month after the accident the lawyer had fallen in her boat and broken her neck. His insurance company decided not to contest and settled for $150,000.

      In both cases, the "plaintiff" was awarded/offered a undeserved large sum of money for something that was not the "defendants" fault. The reason? In most cases the cost of fighting the suit would be more than the settlement offered.

      The tort reform we need is expediting the process and costs of tort suits rather than limiting the damages.
  • by The_Rippa (181699) * on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @02:45PM (#10633335)
    Here's something amazing my car doesn't do...it doesn't wrap itself around a tree while I try to check my email and read a fax at the same time.
  • by codemachine (245871) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @02:46PM (#10633338)
    From the article:

    "In many vehicles nowadays, you can check your e-mail, view Web sites, even watch television, from the comfort of your driver's seat."

    How can't it be a bad thing if US drivers start watching porn on the TV/web while talking on the cell phone while driving and listening to loud music?

    I would think that even if these options started to appear in the US, that insurance for vehicles equipped with them would be expensive.
    • First thing I thought of too. The only way to get around all this is voice activation / talking computer. Obviously, let the passengers surf, watch dvd's, whatever. But the drivers should have a handsfree phone connection, direction finding (GPS) , etc.

      Notice how people can have normal conversations in the their car. But put that hand to their ear, and they're all over the road!

    • Yeah, regardless of the safeguards they talk about (auto-shutoff after 3mph, etc), this is a bad idea, whether in Europe, AsiaPac, or America. Driving is a skill that requires dedicated attention and quick responses to visual stimuli. Providing a mechanism to divert that necessary attention is bad, even when stopped.

      Even the heads-down navi systems that are in cars nowadays can lead to bad driving, and they're supposed to be driving aides -- providing web/email access while driving is a "Very Bad Idea".
  • Car Insurance (Score:4, Insightful)

    by donnyspi (701349) <junk5.donnyspi@com> on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @02:46PM (#10633352) Homepage
    My collision and comprehensive coverage are friggin high enough. Keep this distrating technology away or face higher premiums.
  • by diagnosis (38691)
    The article suggests it's not just that obvious punching bag, litigation, that causes these features not to appear in the U.S. The real reason may be that people don't actually *want* the ability to watch broadcast TV in their car:

    "Safety and security are our winning features," said Terry Sullivan, vice president of communications for OnStar, the communications system owned by General Motors and available on 50 of its models as well as those of other manufacturers.

    "While customers can hear their e-mail u
  • In many vehicles nowadays, you can check your e-mail, view Web sites, even watch television, from the comfort of your driver's seat.

    I would love to have this stuff in my car. However, it makes me tremble to think that the 'average' driver would have these things.

    I'm glad it's not happening in the USA; it scares me enough already to see all the jackasses in mini vans with cell phones pasted to their ear yakking and laughing like fools as they try to merge onto the interstate. I don't want to see such s
  • by SteroidMan (782859) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @02:47PM (#10633355)
    Darn it, look at all the cool toys we could have if we would just take some personal responsibility for our actions.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @02:48PM (#10633361)
    I ride a motorcycle and spend enough time watching out for idiots talking on their cell phone who wander over into my lane. The last thing I need is someone singing a Jessica Simpson song turning me into roadkill. You are driving an automobile and are putting other lives as risk. You should not be eating a big mac while talking on the phone while you are crusing down the highway at 75mph.
  • by phoxix (161744) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @02:49PM (#10633374)
    Lets start with those damn ultra-bright lights. Holy cow are those super annoying. I'm not even driving but walking down the streets with those suckers turned on is enough blind me.

    Sunny Dubey
    • The vast majority of lamps which cause disability glare are doing so becuase they are:

      a) Misaimed either intentionally to get better visibility or by accident because the driver or mechanic don't know what they are doing. You don't have to mis-aim a lamp by much to throw a lot of light at oncoming drivers...one degree too high is more than enough to do it.

      b) Retrofitted with pumped-up aftermarket bulbs which the lamp was not designed to use. Even if you use a kit which claims that it's designed for
      • We can't have things like that in America. They make too much sense.

        Another similarity is the DOT spec for headlights, which requires their beam pattern to be poor, and to blind oncoming drivers. The E-code spec used in Europe is far superior, and provides for a cutout that reduces the glare to oncoming drivers, and directs more of the light onto the road ahead. But of course, since we didn't invent it, we can't have it here.

        Another one is the aspherical rearview mirrors used in Europe, in the side mir
    • Lets start with those damn ultra-bright lights. Holy cow are those super annoying.

      most of the time it is because they are misadjusted. the biggest problem is the rednecks in the giant pickup trucks. they do not readjust their headlights after lofting the pickup another 4 feet for their extra cool big tires.

      I have those insanely bright headlights in my insight. I adjusted them properly so that from oncoming traffic lanes, they look like normal brightness, and I get the benefit of extra light on the roa
  • Paranoia (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @02:49PM (#10633381) Journal
    Terrorism has also created a switch in what consumers deem to be necessary equipment as they drive. It is the ability to communicate, not to be entertained, that seems to matter most to Americans, some industry officials have concluded.
    You know what? Please don't mod me troll, but do I wish USAians would get over this terror thing. Countries like the UK and Spain have had to put up with terrorism and the the threat of terrorism for decades, but they haven't developed a culture of fear, and it has not stopped them from getting on with their lives as normal. This 'but what would the terrorists think?' automatic reaction to just about everything is starting to get a bit old.

    And another thing, I could have sworn that it was illegal in the UK to have a TV playing within view of the driver.

    • Re:Paranoia (Score:5, Insightful)

      by IncarnadineConor (457458) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @02:57PM (#10633490)
      Do their leaders do everything in their power to reinforce the culture of fear?
    • Re:Paranoia (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RandomCoil (88441)

      Countries like the UK and Spain have had to put up with terrorism and the the threat of terrorism for decades, but they haven't developed a culture of fear, and it has not stopped them from getting on with their lives as normal.

      Speaking as a US citizen, I agree with you that it would be "nice" if American culture was less terror-driven, but I think it's a tad unrealistic to compare the terrorism in the UK and Spain (ignoring, perhaps, the recent train bombing in Spain) to the effects of Sept 11th. The US

      • Re:Paranoia (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Idarubicin (579475) <allsquiet@[ ]mail.com ['hot' in gap]> on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @04:30PM (#10634733) Journal
        I think it's a tad unrealistic to compare the terrorism in the UK and Spain (ignoring, perhaps, the recent train bombing in Spain) to the effects of Sept 11th. The US culture weathered the Oklahoma City bombing and the first WTC bombing in a reasonable fashion. Having four planes, the twin towers, a portion of the Pentagon, and a few other sundry buildings fall out of the sky and/or collapse is, and I'm going out on limb here, a rather more disturbing event than what Britain and Spain experienced over a few decades.

        There's some good statistics on the UK's conflict with the IRA here [ulst.ac.uk]. In all, more than 3500 were killed by military and paramilitary groups between 1969 and 2001. The peak death toll was in 1972, with 479 killed--that's about three Oklahoma City bombings (168 deaths in that incident). In six consecutive years (1971 to 1976) there were more deaths due to terrorism than were killed in Oklahoma city; four additional years had terrorism-related death tolls above a hundred. Between 1969 and 2001 there were no years in which there were no IRA-related deaths in the UK.

        Two members of Parliament and two British Ambassadors have been killed by the IRA, and in 1984 there was a bombing attempt directed at the Prime Minister and her cabinet.

        There is evidence that the IRA received funding, weapons, and other support from Libya and from the PLO at times in its history.

        That's three decades of terrorism, with hundreds of people killed in some of those years. Tens of thousands of people injured, above and beyond the thousands of deaths I've listed here. Targeted bombings of politicians and judges. Yeah, it's different from what the States experienced--but I wouldn't be so quick to say one or the other was 'less disturbing'.

        How many terrorist attacks did the United States have in 2003? In 2004? The British had bombings--multiple bombings--each year, every year, for decades.

        • Re:Paranoia (Score:5, Interesting)

          by kraut (2788) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @05:37PM (#10635484)
          Counting attacks off against each other is a bit pointless. I think the key psychological difference was that 9/11 was completely unexpected.

          For the American public, that is; apparently not for the intelligence services.

          >There is evidence that the IRA received funding, weapons, and other support from Libya and from the PLO at times in its history.
          Birds of a feather... Far more relevant is that the IRA for decaded received a lot of it's funding from Irish-Americans. Just goes to prove that one man's terrorist is (often) another man's freedom fighter.

    • Re:Paranoia (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Misch (158807) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @03:39PM (#10634008) Homepage
      "We will not let fear be used as a weapon" - George W. Bush.

      Notice he said nothing about "political tool"
  • Gas (Score:2, Insightful)

    nifty automobile technology that isn't coming to the United States

    Like fuel efficency, maybe? That *for sure* won't be coming to the US anytime soon!

  • Litigous == good?! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by stomv (80392) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @02:50PM (#10633385) Homepage
    From the article...

    ---NY Times quote---
    While the system seems ideal for congested streets like New York's, "we have no plans for the U.S.," said Jon Bucci, corporate manager for advanced technology at Toyota Motor Sales. "This is a very litigious society."
    ---NY Times quote---

    So, to recap: the fact that the auto-parallel park will continue parking even if a 3 year old steps in the way is not a reason to withhold the feature. No, the threat of a lawsuit is the reason.

    Seems to me like this is a classic example of why US lawsuits are a good thing (tm). They're preventing companies from rolling out products that could run over little kids without allowing the operator to override.
    • by monoi (811392)
      Seems to me like this is a classic example of why US lawsuits are a good thing (tm). They're preventing companies from rolling out products that could run over little kids without allowing the operator to override.

      Who said the operator couldn't override it? I think the point the article was making was that in the US, people like to look for someone to blame other than themselves. So, if a three-year-old did get run over because of the driver's negligence when using the system, a US citizen would be likely

    • by Cade144 (553696) * on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @03:07PM (#10633623) Homepage

      Perhaps the engineers at Toyota believe that all Nipponese 3-year-olds are smarter than to run into where a car is parking, or perhaps that there will be a parent watching over a kid that is playing near the street.

      I, for one, would prefer an autodrive system that could safely and reliably take some of the decision making out of the hands of the driver.
      It would be great if I could just sit back and relax while my car took the most optimal route to work, avoiding crazy drivers, potholes and anyother dangers allong the way.

      Yeah, and my car should fly too.
      And be powered by "Mr. Fusion"

      Ah well.
  • by ivan256 (17499) * on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @02:54PM (#10633444)
    I just want the damned navigation system for my car. It's available in Europe and even Canada, but GM has decided that they'd rather sell OnStar in the US because it has a recurring revenue model, and that navigation systems interfere with OnStar premium subscriptions, so they decided not to offer the feature in the US.

    The one thing I *don't* want is anything that requires a monthly fee. I'm sure I could come up with some choice words about where they can stick their recurring revenue.
  • Lawsuits (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slars (410355) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @02:55PM (#10633462) Homepage
    This strongest point I got from reading the article (Yes, I actually RTFA!) is that auto makers, and probably many other companies, are hesitant to introduce new stuff to the US market, whether we need it or not or if it's stupid or not, for fear of being sued.

    Our country has turned into a lawsuit machine. It's become too easy for Bubba to sue S&W and Coors for shooting himself in the foot after downing a 12-er or Coors Light. Who knows - he'd probably win.

  • Great.... (Score:3, Funny)

    by rsborg (111459) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @02:56PM (#10633476) Homepage
    so we're gonna miss out on car based web-surfing (imagine a laptop keyboard "nipple" in your steering wheel!) when more distracting Car DVD players [google.com] are available?

    Sigh... I guess i have to get my commuting pr0n from dvds and not the web :-(

  • by caffeineboy (44704) <.skidmore.22. .at. .osu.edu.> on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @03:12PM (#10633691)
    I don't know about you guys, but if I had a plasma screen, GPS enabled, internet connected whatsamadoozit in my car it would be gone in about, oh, one night of parking near the damn section 8 housing up the street.

    Actually, TVs are illegal in the front seat in Japanese cars. If you have a factory installed system it has to blank itself when the car is in gear. GPS is OK, but no TVs or DVD players. Of course, that's not to say that people don't put them in illegally. When I was in Japan in 1998, my boss had a hi-8 vcp and a 5" trinitron monitor bolted to the dash of his subaru. He would dub rented VHS tapes to hi-8 and watch them in his car.
  • by sicking (589500) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @03:17PM (#10633750)
    I'm not living in the US you insensitive clod! My Automobile will be able to do those things!
  • Here's my 2 cents (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anita Coney (648748) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @03:25PM (#10633830) Homepage
    The article didn't mention the fact that cars (and trucks) are a heck of a lot larger in the US versus Japan and Europe. Thus, automboile accidents here are much more serious.

    Getting hit with a Fiat would be nothing compared to a Hemi equipped Dodge 2500 truck.

  • by DrDebug (10230) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @03:57PM (#10634269) Journal
    Are they kidding? Here in America people think they can drive responsibly with a cell phone in their ear. Now they want to take our eyes off the road, too?

    Yep, this is just BEGGING for a lawsuit.

  • I miss Fiats (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gone.fishing (213219) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @03:58PM (#10634283) Journal
    Fiat pulled out of the US market years ago. I miss them. Over the years I've had several Fiat 850 Spyders and a coupe, I've had a 124 too.

    They were good basic cars that were fun to drive and easy to work on. What more can you really ask for?

    Now to see what they offer in Europe, hell, I'd kill for one of them.

    Sometimes people would tell me that FIAT stood for "Fix It Again, Tony." I'll admit that I have my share of problems with the cars, but then I was really driving 'em a little harder than I should have too. Besides, they were fun to fix. I could lift the engine out of an 850 all by myself and a complete engine swap only took an afternoon or so. Frankly, I'd bet that had I been driving American cars I would have had as many problems and would have had to spend a lot more to fix 'em.

    A junk yard I knew spliced a 124 and a 128 together, it was just sort of a joke but they had a two engined car to show off!

    I only regret that I never got around to owning a X/19 or 2000.

  • Can I get.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by teslatug (543527) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @09:51PM (#10637791)
    ...a simple freaking linein jack to my stereo system?

"A mind is a terrible thing to have leaking out your ears." -- The League of Sadistic Telepaths

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