So on Monday day my wife and I swapped cars. She's in my old 4X4 Toyota Pickup and I'm driving her brand new Ford Fusion. What can say other than
it's a very nice car and extraordinary high tech!
So there I was, on my way home from Durango CO. traveling west-bound on 160. Kind of a typical mountain road round these parts, well maintained not to
steep but there are a few tight turns, switchbacks.
It's snowing so I'm taking my time and being careful getting down the mountain and as usual, someone in one of those tricked out, lifted, near
monster trucks--- just fly’s past me like I'm standing still--- in a double yellow zone no less.
Well this guy is all over the place and his lack of break lights told me he was never going to make the next turn. Fact is he didn't even try. Zoomed
fifty yards straight up the side of this tall hill then in kind of slow motion like, his truck just flops over onto it's passenger side --- all four
Micky T super swampers still spinning.
Now remember I'm in my wife's new super high tech, every gadget, wonder car, with the docking port for the iPhone 5s.
In this car there's no need to pick up the phone and dial I simply need to speak aloud the words.
and the car responds,
“Would you like 'Road Conditions'?
“No--- I want 'Emergency Services'!”
The phone connects with a couple of audible clicks, it rings a few times then my mother-in-law answers???
“Sorry mom...I'll call you back later and tell you what's going on, bye...”
the car hangs up I take a deep breath and try again.
the cars computer mulls over my request, searches threw the music files stored in my phone and seconds later I'm being blasted with.
“I'll send an SOS to the world- I'll Send an SOS to the world- I hope that someone gets my--- message in a bottle--- message in a bottle---”
Okay I made that last part up... In reality it played 'King of Pain'--- another great old Police classic, and very appropriate for the way I was
feeling towards FoMoCo and Apple at the time.
Oh I'm sure somewhere out there is a software engineer who will give a maniacal laugh and rub their hands together while they read this post.
“Bawhahaha... Our evil plan is working better than we hoped Doctor Doom!”
By this time I'm down at the bottom of the hill where the accident happened. I park and thinking 'Screw this' I rip the phone out of the cradle to
dial 911 the old fashioned way, by swiping my finger.
So I put it back in the dock.
One bar, I guess the car acts like an antenna booster? Voice command is a total bust but at least I can still use the touch screen.
Finally I get through to the right people.
The truck--- busted axle, tie-rod snapped off and bent frame--- The driver, drunker than a skunk and as usual not a scratch---Plus he thinks what he
just did was totally 'Awesome' and wants to do it again!
Highway patrol shows up, and that issue was resolved, but alas this new car voice activation is DOA.
If you say to the car,
“Radio two - news station.”
The windshield wipers come on?
If you say,
The damn trunk opens?
Oh but it never does the same thing twice, so the next time I ask it to call the babysitter, hoping it might actually open the trunk... it'll turn on
the seat warmer?
I mean WTF... the cars only two months old and it's been back to the shop three times to have them figure out what's wrong with this voice deally-o
Maybe I'm not using the right accent?
“O-ta-lay Vato car... Call chica momma!”
“Howdy bud... I recon y’all Ot'a call my hunny bunny.”
Maybe it's waiting for me to get down on my hands and knees and beg.
“Please oh magnificent marvelous wonder of modern engineering... May I perchance call my lovely wife. Pretty please? If your not to busy that
“Launching ejector seat!”
The wife and I have since traded back---Naturally, 'She' doesn't have a problem with 'Her' car---As for me?
Ah it feels so good to drop my hand over that five speed stick, ease her into first and let the clutch out slowly--- and when another driver pisses me
off and a yell out a few choice words--- I don’t have to worry about my truck deploying the airbags!
Voice activation; You know it does sound really funny, in a sad kind of way--- Modern technology not working out as expected--- Jeez, who’d’a
thunk it?--- but the truth is, one of these days this voice activation prob is going to get someone killed... if it hasn't already done so.
'Input Error--- Engaging Self Destruct!'