Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mobile Web

It looks like the Internet will be coming soon to a dashboard near you.  First reaction:  I suppose this kind of advancement--if you want to call it that--is inevitable, but until cars drive themselves, I'm not so sure Internet access in the dashboard is such a great idea.  (Even if it's designed not to work when the car is moving, people always find ways to bypass roadblocks, so to speak.) 

Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but I can see parents who want to keep their kids quiet on the road being motivated to get past the "no-net-surfing-while-in-motion" limitation.  A cottage industry will spring up to hack the web-on-wheels, leading to one or two deaths somewhere in LA, or Chicago.  This will spark Congressional hearings.  Then some random regulatory agency (probably the Department of Agriculture) will step in to put tighter controls on how all of us drive, and internal monitors in our vehicles to watch our every move while we're on the road, followed by a push to automate driving, with self-driving cars attached to a centrally-controlled grid, like in Methuselah's Children.  Eventually, we'll have to file trip permits with a giant centralized bureaucracy to go to the grocery store.  All of this because some car manufacturer thought we might want to search Google Maps on the road while heading to Aunt Tilly's house!  When will the madness end?!  There is one bright spot, however.  It sure would shorten long-distance trips having a self-driving car taking the night shift!