Well maybe not a brand new car, but a much improved car, or in this case, a truck. Since the truck is the primary vehicle for most Texans, they have become just as nice and comfortable as most cars. Actually the automakers saw this market and created a “car” based on the frame of a truck, and hence we have the SUV lines.
Over the past 100 years or so, the car has really evolved; it has become state of the art. If you look back at the basics of the horseless carriage, it was truly just a wagon with an engine. In the movie ‘Grapes of Wrath’ you can really see what a workhorse the automobile was for the time. It could carry everyone and everything a family owned. A few stops for flat repairs and a bit of water here and there and this mechanical miracle made it across the country.
Now we live in a time when vehicles have so many safety devices it is almost a nuisance at times. Yes it makes the car safer, but sometimes you wonder how many people were actually doing some of the things that forced the changes. The autos of today have some great safety features, and along with that some wonderful comfort changes that almost make the seats as nice as your easy chair at home. We have back up cameras, a great addition. Then there are the newer and more advanced inventions being introduced, warnings for objects or other vehicles in the areas beside or behind you. Overall these will eventually make driving much safer; as of this point many of these are only options or available on the upper end vehicles.
I am all for improvements, but I think we need to set some priorities for these and then start putting them on all the vehicles so everyone can enjoy them. I have made mention that I use and depend on my GPS unit, however it is one that sticks to the windshield. And by “stick” I mean it is initially put there and then falls off when you are in heavy traffic and need it for the next turn. I hope that they will soon be a large screen in the dash so you can easily view the maps. With that we should be able to program the unit to find our favorite type restaurants. Then the most important improvement would be that the GPS finds the nearest restrooms and rates them by cleanliness.
One of the next areas I see for changes would be the horn. We don’t really use the car horns like they do in other countries, but we could benefit from a few minor changes. Instead of one horn and one basic tone perhaps we could have several different sounds. Here are a few suggestions that obviously should top the list, especially since this is my idea. How about a nice polite horn for when you come to a 4-way stop and the next person is just confused about who’s turn it is, a simple “toot” to say “please go ahead and go it is your turn.” One for a parking lot when someone is backing out and they don’t see you, just a note to say, “I’m kinda in the way so please don’t back over me.” Then to the more useful honks: one that say; “OK, stop texting the light has turned green.” That one could be a bit more brash. With that we need one a bit more tolerant that says, “I am honking at the car in front of you, so don’t take it personally, but would you mind going since the light is green and the car behind you is too polite to honk so I am doing it for him.” I realize that is a run-on honk, but I feel it is needed. Then keeping with the stoplight situations, a second more meaningful tone; “OK now this is the second honk we need to get going or my next option is to switch to 4WD and shove your car out into the intersection because I assume it is not running.” Then one for the highway, a fairly loud blast that says, “I hope you spill your hot coffee in your lap and then drop your phone and break the screen so you don’t have any more distractions and can center your attention to actually driving like the rest of us are trying to do out here.”
I hope my list gets to the right people in Detroit. If anyone has an idea to add to the list I am open to it, so just let me know. In the mean time, my regular horn will just have to do; I just hope the proper meaning comes across.