This weekend, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas will come to a close. The economy has affected the show, with reports saying attendance was down 25%. Yet, exhibitor space fell only 3% – 2,700 companies had their wares on display this year. And, much of that space was a showcase for new technology, in televisions, radios, in fact anything that could be considered an electronic gadget. This year, more than ever before, many of those gadgets go in your car.
I remember when, as an auto enthusiast in my early twenties, I would scoff when I sat down in a car that didn’t have a tachometer or gauges to measure oil pressure or water temperature. The culture of idiot lights was something I endeavored to stay away from. It wasn’t cool – and it wasn’t what I thought people who cared about cars wanted either.
Today, vehicle interiors almost always have a tach and an assortment of gauges. They have a lot more than that, too. During the past year, I’ve driven vehicles that had more than 50 buttons on the center stack or the dash, all of them related to some form of technology designed to make the driving experience more enjoyable. At the rate things are going, some states may enact laws that require vehicles to be piloted by a driver AND a co-driver.