Put These Into My Car

4:10 PM

Every day that I drive, stuck in traffic, I find myself wishing for little things--often simple things to make my drive faster, safer, more enjoyable. I doubt anyone's listening, but by golly gershwin I'm going to write them down.

1. Front side brake lights.

Yes. When that lunatic without a turn signal is slowing down--I'd like to know. My eyes are pretty good, but sometimes it's hard to tell when someone is actually slowing down. If I'm at a stop sign, waiting to turn, I could turn faster if I knew the car approaching were slowing down. If I'm driving towards a crosswalk, and I don't see the pedestrian step out but the oncoming car from the other direction does--I'll see his brake light and know something's up.

A simple set of red lights below the headlights would do the trick.

2. Yellow lights before green.

Oh yes. Europe has it, and it's a joy. A short, 2 second yellow light (the same yellow light preceding red) appears before the green (or blue). It keeps traffic flowing smoothly. It's so simple, yet so effective.

3. WiFi Everything.

I want so much, it's hard to contain myself. I want WiFi radio stations for my stereo. I want to communicate with other cars without honking. I want to know if there's a car coming toward me in the evening fog that I can't see yet. I'd like my car to calculate right-of-way at a 4-way stop and inform everyone else as well. Traffic info.

4. USB plug for the onboard computer.

I would love to know what's on that chip. Why is that dashboard light on? Just route a cable to the cigarette lighter space and let me plug it into my laptop. Let me download the mileage, calculate my fuel economy, alert me to problems, see my daily usage--starts, stops, trips, etc. All of that isn't on the chip, but start with the chip and make everything accessible via USB, bluetooth or WiFi.

5. No more cigarette lighters.

I don't smoke. I don't need to light things on fire while I drive. I hate the adapters to plug things in. Just give me a plug. No adapter. Just a plug. Now, please.

6. WiFi alarm.

Back on the WiFi trail. I have a program for my Mac in case it's stolen. If so, I report the theft to the company. They ping my laptop the next time it comes online, activating the theft software. It starts broadcasting its location, logging all keystrokes, and silently feeding video images of the thief back home. It can't be erased or uninstalled (without the very secure admin password). Why not in my car? I hate the noisy alarm. Just start rolling film, broadcast location, and send the crook to jail. As soon as the car comes within range of a hotspot.. bam. Or give it a disposable phone number to SMS data. Anything.

7. Cameras.

I'd like to end the insurance speculations now and forever. Just put 4 cameras (or more) on the 4 sides of the car. Build them into the frame. Record everything on a little hard drive in the trunk. Next time I get rear-ended, I'll simply show the video to the police and walk away with my check. You can also fight those tickets. Prove you came to a complete stop. Prove that crazy man jumped out in front of you.

8. Breath-a-lizer in dash.

I never want to drive under the influence, but sometimes I have a few drinks on an empty stomach that hit me a little harder than I'd like. I don't notice it until AFTER I start driving. What an awkward feeling, I can tell you. I doubt I've ever been illegal behind the wheel, but I'd love to be able to make a snap decision before even turning the car on: drive or cab it.

Anyways, that's my wish list for today.

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