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I have conflicting emotions when it comes to an increasing amount of cutting-edge automotive electronics.

On one hand, I LOVE lots of buttons and color displays with lots of information and flexible ways of connecting devices like my iPhone.

On the other hand, this stuff becomes obsolete much faster than engines, transmissions, and seats. Buying a 2016 year model car with today's latest technology 10 years from now will seem like buying a car with a factory 8-track player today. 10 years is not old for a car, but it is ancient for a computer, GPS system, or smartphone. In fact, portable GPS units, smartphones, and tablets as we know them today didn't even exist 10 years ago!

Audio systems have gone from AM to FM to 8-tracks to cassettes to CDs to MP3 players and now towards "cloud" streaming just in the last few decades. In the old days, you could replace your old shaft-style AM radio with the current state-of-the-art with nothing more than a plastic installation kit and a simple wiring harness. That is no longer the case. Automobiles are becoming disposable appliances faster than ever thanks to loads of cutting-edge technology.

All this wireless connectivity, telematics, Wi-Fi hotspots, etc. that is going into vehicles these days... There will come a time where the standards used by these systems are obsolete and no longer supported - LONG before the useful life of the vehicle itself is up. You'll just be carrying around hundreds of pounds of obsolete electronic junk.
 

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There is the obsolescence factor as well as the risk of more distracting elements. Even if the integration is more or less seamless and automated, the same techies that love having it usually enjoy watching it work as well as playing with any available options.

DO NOT OPERATE CONTROLS WHILE THE VEHICLE IS IN MOTION. We know how effective that is...and if you lock anything out the interest fades.
 

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Indeed - just look at the number of people who get downright angry because their navigation systems won't let them type in an address while they're driving 80 MPH down the highway or 30 MPH through a neighborhood with children playing in the street.

Relocating displays from the instrument panel to HUDs will help as will better voice control. I'm somewhat surprised the governing agencies haven't stepped in more to address these issues. Voice control is getting a lot better as evidenced by Siri, the Amazon Echo, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have conflicting emotions when it comes to an increasing amount of cutting-edge automotive electronics.

On one hand, I LOVE lots of buttons and color displays with lots of information and flexible ways of connecting devices like my iPhone.

On the other hand, this stuff becomes obsolete much faster than engines, transmissions, and seats. Buying a 2016 year model car with today's latest technology 10 years from now will seem like buying a car with a factory 8-track player today. 10 years is not old for a car, but it is ancient for a computer, GPS system, or smartphone. In fact, portable GPS units, smartphones, and tablets as we know them today didn't even exist 10 years ago!

Audio systems have gone from AM to FM to 8-tracks to cassettes to CDs to MP3 players and now towards "cloud" streaming just in the last few decades. In the old days, you could replace your old shaft-style AM radio with the current state-of-the-art with nothing more than a plastic installation kit and a simple wiring harness. That is no longer the case. Automobiles are becoming disposable appliances faster than ever thanks to loads of cutting-edge technology.

All this wireless connectivity, telematics, Wi-Fi hotspots, etc. that is going into vehicles these days... There will come a time where the standards used by these systems are obsolete and no longer supported - LONG before the useful life of the vehicle itself is up. You'll just be carrying around hundreds of pounds of obsolete electronic junk.
Future "classic" automobiles are going to require a whole news class of geeks to keep them running.

On the wide area wireless network front: now that the major carriers have (more or less) built out LTE networks, 5G trails have begun. The networks talking to vehicles today will be obsolete and unsupported in the not to distant future.

Good thing prices drop with consumer adaptation.

ComputerDealOfTheCentury.jpg
 

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Future "classic" automobiles are going to require a whole news class of geeks to keep them running.

On the wide area wireless network front: now that the major carriers have (more or less) built out LTE networks, 5G trails have begun. The networks talking to vehicles today will be obsolete and unsupported in the not to distant future.

Good thing prices drop with consumer adaptation.
Yup. Like the more than half million GM vehicles with OnStar equipment that stopped functioning in 2008 when analog cellular towers went dark. :(
 

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Voice control will help a lot, and already is.. but let's face it, even putting together a logical stream of commands in your head robs some conscious attention from your immediate awareness as well as the level of anxiety waiting for an anticipated call from your boss and/or wife.
Kids can be a real distraction, but so can those not even in the car trying to communicate with you.
 

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Future "classic" automobiles are going to require a whole news class of geeks to keep them running.

On the wide area wireless network front: now that the major carriers have (more or less) built out LTE networks, 5G trails have begun. The networks talking to vehicles today will be obsolete and unsupported in the not to distant future.

Good thing prices drop with consumer adaptation.

View attachment 204122
That's a mouth-watering system, and with a printer!!! Of course that was a year's salary for many of that time.
 

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A couple months ago, i test drove a new F-150 Lariat. Somehow I started the seat massage and couldn't get it turned off. Today I drove a diesel Ram 1500 Limited and couldn't figure out how to turn off the radio - only mute the volume. Even with my reading glasses on, I find it hard to figure out all the on-screen and physical buttons on a lot of these new vehicles.

BTW, I liked the way the diesel drove, but I wonder about the reliability of any FCA vehicle. They also didn't have any in stock with the Rambox. I wonder how those compare in utility to the Ridgeline trunk.
 

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It is cheaper for Honda (and a few others) to build less sophisticated vehicles. Plus, their design mostly evolves rather than revolutionizes. A side benefit is fewer new parts which not only keeps assembly costs lower but replacing them as well. Plus, more availability of parts.
I have a neighbor that just picked up a 2014 Land Rover at Carmax. Beautiful vehicle, but his rationale was to get rid of his 2010 Grand Cherokee that was costing him and arm and leg to maintain at 79,000 miles. Does he really think the LR will do better some 50K miles from now?
 

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Impact print head and ink tape suppliers have seen a dramatic reduction in product demand.
No worries. Car dealers are keeping them in business. The "long forms" required by the state and/or lenders are still multi-part forms that require impact printers. Lots of auto parts stores like O'Reilly and ABC still use impact printers for receipts. If you look behind the counter, you'll still find lots of impact printers still alive and well. :)
 

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Soon Congress will be forced to address the non-standard technology like they did for Automatic Transmissions ( the PRNDL law ) and for diagnostics (OBD II).

I suspect that a tech savy Congressman or Senator will propose a car/truck interface standard to control the entire dash so that every HVAC will use the same commands as will the Navigation, Dash and so forth. The devices will tell what configuration they are such as the Dash - Odometer reading, Speedometer to end, Tach to end, Fuel Gauge max fuel in liters and display in units that are selected like gallons ( the tank will report in liters) , Retime MPG, Temp, Oil Pressure. HVAC - single or dual controls, if there is a rear control, temp set or warmer or colder, fan setting. Radio will negotiate and state what they can do, etc.

If your 2018 controller fails a 2020 will plug right in and take over.

Just my guess as technology is rapidly becoming the drivers nightmare to figure out and to keep going. Replacement dashes for non analog dashes that were late 90's are no longer available and cannot be repaired as parts are no longer being made.

Keeping a car to 30 years may no longer be an option as the electronics are so customized that parts are only made for 2-3 years and when they are gone there are no more. Reduction of Hazardous Materials has made electronics fail at the 7-8 year mark as microscopic whiskers kill the electronics. I know of a few late model GMC and Chevy trucks where the dash has failed and the speedometer is now on the Garmin Navi stuck in front of the speedometer.

You car will be come as obsolete as Windows 3.1 or Windows Millennium. Neither has SATA drive support so they will not run native on new hardware, but with Virtualization, they work in VirtualBox so that 16 bit apps will still work on your 64 bit computer.

PS I owned one of those $5995 computers in 1978 but I had two prototype 20 MB drive that took 10 hours to format each and almost a day to copy one to the other. Had to write my own CP/M driver for those disks as drivers did not come with the drives - Ironically CP/M was only designed to support 32MB drives as was MSDOS back then. Microsoft changed it to support 320MB by making the cluster (unit if disk allocated) 10 times larger. CP/M only supported 64k but most S100 Computer memory boards would let you swap out 16K at a time so that 48K was always the same but 16K could be select out of the above 48K memory. I used that to buffer large documents I was editing ( had to write my own text editor as I needed formatting to print out on my Diablo daisy wheel printer and my own print driver - none were provided with CP/M - just instructions on how to load the print driver if you had one.
 
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