The endless, useless CRAP in connected cars

Somebody says that it is “Time to buckle up: Why the possibilities of connected cars are endless”, because:

"…It’s exciting to think of a car that will direct you to the nearest gas station when fuel is low, stop at your local coffee shop each morning, and even synch your shopping list with your car. In fact, this vision of bringing together the connected customer with the connected car is already becoming a reality with services such as Volvo’s in-car delivery: an online shopper can submit an order away from their parked car, for it to be delivered to their trunk by a driver with a one-time digital key for access. The customer is alerted simultaneously via smartphone that their shopping has been delivered."

Right after that pearl, there is another one:

“what if autonomous cars could drive up to petrol stations and make payments automatically, with credit cards built in to the vehicle? In this case, cars will need to be connected to new versions of payment cards: the potential to save time and reduce queues would make this process more than worth the deployment costs."

Now, let’s try to answer a few simple, but reality-based question, taking those wonderful visions into account:

  • if a car is so smart that can take care of itself, why on Earth should you endure the hassle of owning it, rather than just summoning one, in the only moments when you really need it?
  • how much sense does it make, in an age of traffic jams, pollution and so on, to get in debts for what, at the end of the day, is just a taxi with a digital, built-in chaffeur, specifically designed to let YOU do less and less by yourself?
  • now the best part, that is that “in-car delivery” thing (or any other similar feature, of course). Please look again to that picture. Please look at it, for just one second, but from the right angle. In other words…

Please let yourself be hit by the revelation of how much, while there may be a demand for a service like “in-car delivery”, there is no need at all of a connected car to get it. You may get a practically undistinguishable service, minus the “in your trunk” part and being even more spied than you already are, with ANY 20+ years old car, plus ANY smartphone, ANY web-based delivery platform, and ANY delivery service (drones included).

One month ago that trap for fools that was Juicero, the 400 USD fruit squezer that worked no better than your own hands, finally collapsed. Now it seems to be back. Connected cars probably have some sensible reason to exist (especially if they’re shared, not private): but a private car with “In-car delivery” is Juicero on wheels. Sure, there will be people who not only buy a car for that “feature”, but even use it regularly. But not because they need it.

That article should be titled “how connected cars (*) greatly increase the occasions to get in debt for no reason at all, if people are dumb enough to believe them”.

(*) or, for that matter, many “exciting applications” of the whole Internet of Things, of course, of which connected cars are, alas, just a small part.