Hooniverse Asks: What Part of Driving Would You Most Like To See Automated?

Cars have been becoming more automated, and hence simpler to use, for decades First came the electric starter, then the automatic transmission, and now have cars that will stay in a lane and maintain pace with traffic all by themselves.
Of course that cutting edge automation technology is so new that it hasn’t yet filtered down to the cars most of us can buy, but you know it’s coming, right? With that in mind, is there any aspect of automobile automation that you would most like to have? Would you appreciate if your car could find its own parking spot while you go do your grocery shopping? Or maybe takes you home by itself when you’ve one too many?
What part of the driving experience would you most like to see automated?
Image: VolvoCars

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  1. caltemus Avatar

    Turn Signals based on GPS route

  2. Kiefmo Avatar

    I’ll take fully-automated, thanks. I either want to be the driver or the passenger, nothing in between where I have to halfway pay attention.
    And since it will be difficult to retrofit my W126 for automation, I’ll just need to buy a robot chauffeur (I’ll call him Jeeves) to drive it for me while I lounge in the back reading my morning paper and sipping my morning drink. But if I’m doing that, I’d much rather have a long wheel base model, and while I’m at it, I’d like to try out a big Merc V8, so I’ll need to get my 300SD polished up and sold, then start the hunt for a 560SEL that has been kept nice and crisp.

  3. engineerd Avatar

    Automated pot hole avoidance. I’m tired of spilling my brefass scotch on my morning commute and my after work scotch on my afternoon commute.

    1. Maymar Avatar

      Have you considered spilling your brefass scotch on your afternoon commute and your after work scotch your morning commute?

  4. Alan Cesar Avatar
    Alan Cesar

    You know, there’s just so much my smartphone can do better than any in-car infotainment. I’d like to see a car that has a smartphone dock in place of the typical screen. Then I can use all the usual Android voice commands to turn on navigation and play music, and have the display in a convenient place without attaching one of those giant smash-and-grab-inviting suction cup mounts to my windshield.

    1. cronn Avatar

      They do make actual car-specific dashboard mounts for phones, you know.

    2. Kiefmo Avatar

      You could probably rig something up with an amplifier that has a bluetooth connection and a USB power source sneaky-hidden behind the dash, with just a wire coming out.
      Bonus if your phone supports capacitive charging. You could install that behind your mount, and be completely wire-free.
      And now, I’m officially planning on doing this in my car. Thanks for the idea/money sink.

      1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

        That’s been my official “why can’t every manufacturer do this?” pet demand for, like, ever. I hate the pointless duplication of technology.

        1. nanoop Avatar

          But.. this would mean you can’t use the full functionality of a car without owning a smartphone with all its privacy “features” – Richard Stallman and me would have to jailbreak our cars!

  5. Maymar Avatar

    I can wait until I can afford something with radar-guided cruise control – that’s the thing I want automated most (even if it’s already a thing).
    Otherwise, just automate everyone else.

    1. Monkey10is Avatar

      +1 for “just automate everyone else”; in the years to come, I can see that becoming the Hoon’s battlecry.

    2. Vairship Avatar

      “I can’t wait until I can afford something with radar-guided cruise control missiles”
      FTFY. It’ll shorten your commute time significantly, and reduce annoyance levels.

      1. Maymar Avatar

        Thankfully, my commute is short enough I can’t use cruise control on it, but the missiles are still a good idea.

  6. 0A5599 Avatar

    Something to make traffic ahead pull over to clear my path.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      I’d take that in a heartbeat. Activated by a huge red button under hinged glass on top of the dashboard, an outward airport siren, and a mechanized voice saying…”Freedom. Activated.”

    2. Lokki Avatar

      “Something to make traffic ahead pull over to clear my path”
      Wow! You must live way out in the countryside somewhere? Here in the city I see these things all the time; they’ve been around forever too. My uncle even had one and it came with a cool hat and mirrored sunglasses as a bonus too.

    3. irishzombieman Avatar

      This too much?

  7. Citric Avatar

    It would be nice if the block heater could plug itself in once the temperature got under a certain level.
    Otherwise nothing, the more I use computers the less I trust them.

    1. Kiefmo Avatar

      Block heater? PFT! What’s winter if you don’t have to crank it over for 30s before it catches?

      1. nanoop Avatar

        These demands don’t exclude each other. Some people here are changing from summer to winter oil.

  8. Tanshanomi Avatar

    Computer-guided cruise missiles.

  9. nanoop Avatar

    Refilling – they made the retainers illegal here, so you are standing and holding the trigger at -20degC.

    1. Alan Cesar Avatar
      Alan Cesar

      Move to New Jersey. Or Brazil. Nobody pumps their own gas there.

      1. nanoop Avatar

        I considered to improvise a retainer based on a toothpick (I’d need to figure out how these work, first…), but Brazil certainly sounds like there is an attractive place or two…

  10. for_SCIENCE Avatar

    I like driving, I hate commuting. Let me keep the roadtrips and twisty two-lanes, and Ford/GM/Google/whomever can have the repetitive drive to and from work.

  11. Jaap Avatar

    Filling up at the gasstation, cold, uncomfortable, dirty. Bring in the robot!

  12. discontinuuity Avatar

    I’d like some sort of Automated Shitty Driver Detection and Avoidance System. Maybe a heads-up display that alerts me to anyone nearby driving while texting, drunk, high, etc.

    1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

      Easy. Such drivers fit aftermarket xenon headlamps, big exhausts and low-quality alloy wheels to alert you to their very presence.

    2. Sjalabais Avatar

      That would be one busy HUD…

  13. sunbeammadd Avatar

    I’d like an automated system that yells at the kids fighting in the back seat to keep their hands to themselves and shut the hell up.

    1. Vairship Avatar

      Why yell at them? Just buy a Volvo: http://www.cartalk.com/content/volvo-dope-slap-1

  14. smokyburnout Avatar

    I don’t really mind walking across parking lots, but often when I exit a store I like to imagine my car automatically pulling a J-turn right up to the curb. So maybe a “ludicrous” version of Tesla’s “summon”?
    aaaaand maybe a Saab Sensonic-style clutch that could be switched on in the rare occasion I’m in bumper-to-bumper traffic?

  15. ptschett Avatar

    I’m just starting to get used to automatic climate control after 10 years’ experience with automatic headlights & 20 with automatic transmissions. 10 years from now, I might be willing to accept rain-sensing wipers.