Christine is the title of an early novel by Stephen King, (1983), but Christine was no ordinary gal; she was a lean, mean Plymouth Fury sports model by Chrysler, these days a classic car, but in her time a sleek sports coupé with fancy tail fins and go-faster stripes before we ever called them that. Christine had a life of her own and she bewitched her owner, the young Arnie, who wanted to restore her to her former showroom glory.
Mindful of the horrendous insurance claims should anyone bash into her, these days you might not want to take your vintage old lady Plymouth Fury out for a spin. However, thanks to recent astonishing developments by global car manufacturers, you soon might have your very own Christine. The latest developments include:
Pretty smart for a car
Smartphone functionality is moving to the dashboard. Chevrolet has redesigned the screen display to have the look and feel of the smartphone and with movable icons. The Chevy Impala comes preloaded with their MyLink infotainment system. Maybe we’ll do all our admin from the dashboard soon, from online shopping to banking to insurance claims.
Talk to the hand
The Harman Interactive Heads-Up display is an amazing app that runs on the windscreen, giving the driver information about weather and traffic conditions without him having to take his eyes off the road. He can change sound volume by raising and lowering his hand and also control his phone hands-free. The design ethos is safety-conscious, to cause minimum distraction to the driver and help avoid any incident that might result in accident insurance claims. A number of car manufacturers such as BMW, Cadillac and Hyundai are developing similar systems.
Read my mood
A partnership between Gracenote and Garmin has delivered a mood selection app to choose music for the driver’s mood. Gracenote’s MoodGrid groups songs from the listener’s collection into mood type, such as “dark” or “calm” or “energetic”, so all the driver has to do is touch the mood icon and the system will select the music for him.
Take me for a ride, baby
The self-drive car looks like being a reality in the not so distant future. Many manufacturers are quite advanced with this technology and driverless cars are legal in Nevada and California. Manufacturers predict the rest of us could have them as soon as 2020. Road traffic accidents and insurance claims could reduce dramatically. Whatever, inspired by Stephen King, if you’ve dreamt of owning your very own Christine, you might have her driving you round sooner than you think.
Date Published: January 26, 2013
Author: David Brown