My car talks. I mean, it won’t engage me in conversation, or ask how my day is going, but I can hit a little button on the steering wheel and ask it for the time, or tell it to find the nearest Chinese restaurant, or even to change the radio station, and it will answer back, in a computerized monotone and fulfill my every wish, so long as those wishes are within the confines of the 600 or so commands the car will actually understand. For someone directionally challenged, as I tend to be, it’s a wonderful feature. It’s also got a wonderful little calendar built in, so I can key in my schedule or leave myself little reminders that the computerized lady will read back at the appropriate time.
But I think car manufacturer’s could really take this technology a step further. They could start with the voice. Currently, I am directed to my destination by a rather boring female “any voice”. Its not exciting enough for movie voiceovers. It’s free of any dialect. It’s cold and emotionless. Do these car makers not realize how many more people would opt for this pricey technology package if they gave it some attitude?
Like, why can’t I have Wanda Sykes be my car’s voice? Instead of Mrs. Robot telling me to “Make a LEGAL U-turn, if possible” when I miss my exit, I could have a sassy black woman saying “Damn, fool! You missed the God damn exit! Are there any cops around? Swing a u-ey!”
Or when I tell it to find the nearest McDonald’s, couldn’t the little computer take a quick weight reading from the driver’s seat and advise me, “You wanna think again, Tubby? How ’bout we find the nearest gym?”
And it keeps track of my previous destinations, so I think with a little extra programming, that could be an added benefit. Instead of mindlessly routing me home after a day at work, it could say “Home? Home? Four days in a row you’ve gone straight home, fool! Im gonna calculate a route to you gettin’ a life!”
And, if Wanda Sykes isn’t your cup of tea, maybe they could give us options!
The Jewish Mother: “You want I should calculate a route to work, eh? Maybe if you hadn’t spent college smoking pot, I could calculate a route to your medical office. Oy! But no…make the next left and let’s see if we can get you to your part time job at the Gap on time for once”
The 900 Number: “Oh your ass feels so good on my seat! I love how you touch my steering wheel Daddy! Make the next right! oh yeah, that’s it, make that right. Make it hard! Don’t stop for three…point….two….miles! Yes YES YESSSSS!”
The Preacher: “GAWWWD wants you to turn left in one point five miles! Stay on HIS path or face eternal damnation!”
The Redneck: “Whatchu wanna do now, is bear rite once you getta the old Pedersen place. Then you’ll drive a fair piece til ya get to the spot where Buddy turned over his Camaro and you’ll see it up the hill thair on yer leff.”
The Politician: “I have hope that the American people will want you to make the next right. But our experience tells us that the next left is the more prudent route.” On second thought, maybe that one isn’t such a good idea, you’d always just end up where you started.