Cooley On Cars
Top 5: Simple technologies all cars needCNET's Brian Cooley tells you about five technologies every car makers should get done in terms of tech.
There have been a lot of tech innovations in cars lately, like pointless 3D maps, voice commands and emulate a moron, and head-up displays that looked as if a 5-year-old got bored halfway through the job. But I've got some better ones. I'm Brian Cooley with my top 5 simple technologies all cars should have. Number 5, Smart Seat Heaters-- now even if you set your seat heater to lower medium, it should be smart enough to start at high until it gets to lower medium. Any modern home furnace can do that and those things were about as smart as a milk carton. Also, why does the automatic temperature control on the dash and the seat heater have no communication with each other? There's got to be a link man. Now, I've put all these at number 5 because I've just seen this show up in a tiny way in a few cars, but not nearly enough considering how much we love this creature comfort. Number 4, Small Car Keys-Drive a Jaguar lately? You better wear strong pants. The key is the size of a small ham and slightly more dense, and they're just a poster child for an entire industry trend toward these huge heavy transponder key box. Any tech that makes you miss the way they did it back in the 60s is tech that's gone wrong. Number 3, Speed Limits on Speedometers-- one needs to patent this right now and make a grip. Here's the idea, a number of cars already have the ability to know and display the posted speed limit where you're driving. But they typically show it way the hell over on the GPS screen. No car I've driven yet takes the simple step of illuminating the correct numeral on the speedo-dial. What could be more elegant and glanceable. Don't forget to share some of your patent troll earnings with ole Cooley. Number 2, Bluetooth Time Sync-- in most cars you still have to set the clock. Here in 2014, that's VCR-like. Now some cars was factoring navigation, do auto set the time from GPS, but many don't and non-nav cars can't. Yet there you are with a paired Bluetooth phone, a perfect source of accurate network time for the dashboard clock and yet it doesn't talk to your phone. Surely a Bluetooth spec to do that could have been done years ago. Number one is Media, unite all media. I'm fed up with cars that still have separate buttons and often separate interfaces for radio, media, and what they call media apps. Guys, it's all media, put it one place. I bet you've had some brilliant simple ideas for car tech. If you care to air them out in public, shoot them at me and I'll share some of the best on a future show. It's On Cars @cnet.com. I'm Brian Cooley. Thanks for watching.