Hooniverse Asks- What Should Be The Next Great Car Communication Trope?

Ignoring hot rod club bumper plaques, the first real mainstream use of the automobile as an expression of owner opinion was probably the bumper sticker. Demonstrating political party affiliation, or in Southern California an affinity for In-N-Out Burgers, the rectangular conveyor of conviction almost always was passed on to a new owner as the adhesive invariably baked itself into an unremovable solid that forevermore would be one with the car.
That permanence, along with amazing advances in suction cup technology, was the likely reason that window hangers grew to dominate bumper stickers as a mode of mobile opinion or situational communication. Perhaps it was a Garfield in the window, indicating that the driver really liked lasagna and hated Mondays, or a baby on board sign that warned you to stay clear lest you feel the wrath of hormonally challenged new mom, but for a while they were all the rage. Those have since given way to peeing Calvin window clings, as well as those which denote the car owner’s individual family members so serial killers can properly plan how much duct tape and scratchy rope to bring.
That’s where we presently are in the car to car communication world. Of course with fascinating new technologies like bluetooth and Randy Mantooth I’m wondering what will be the next fad in automotive expression. What do you think will be the next great car communication trope?
Image: The Telegraph

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  1. Krautwursten Avatar

    There will come a time when every new car acts as a wifi hotspot and when you can give your hotspot a custom name, avatar and theme. Prepare yourselves to see a gallery of male genitalia drawings in your hotspot listings in a traffic jam.

  2. Sjalabais Avatar

    “Honk if you need me to pull over”
    Oh, that was wishful thinking. Just came home from work, stuck behind a tourist doing 60 in 70 and 80 zones. My thoughts went to button-activated rockets, a Ninja-deployment-function and how brains occasionally seem to be in short supply.
    /impatient friday commute

  3. Kiefmo Avatar

    A voice controlled marquee at the top of your front and rear windows that allows you to communicate clearly with those around you. It will even register the tone of your voice and all-caps when appropriate. The front one will be reversed for easy rear-view mirror observation. Pair it with a friendly-sounding horn to alert them to the waiting message. Perhaps the Road Runner’s “Meep Meep!”
    In a hurry behind a left lane camper rigidly adhering to the limit? Give the command:
    “Front banner: Excuse me, good sir, but would you mind awfully…?” “Meep Meep!”
    Of course, until we all learn some manners and stop acting like barbarians in traffic, the reply will likely come in the form of a lifted finger combined with the message “F**k off!” and a 5mph reduction in speed.

    1. The Rusty Hub Avatar
      The Rusty Hub

      I have long wanted to do this with a handful of pre-programmed messages so they can be retrieved at the push of a button.
      For example:

      View post on imgur.com

      1. mzszsm Avatar

        “That’s precious, he thinks my Corolla is a TRD.”

    2. Tanshanomi Avatar

      Unfortunately, that would require a change in current vehicle lighting regulations, as those sorts of written messages to the front or rear of the vehicle are prohibited.

      1. The Rusty Hub Avatar
        The Rusty Hub

        Why you gotta ruin my fun?
        [Presses button]

        View post on imgur.com

        1. irishzombieman Avatar


      2. irishzombieman Avatar

        eInk displays emit no light and would therefore be exempt.

        1. Tanshanomi Avatar

          OMG. THIS!

        2. Tanshanomi Avatar

          I could see a big E-ink panel embedded in the doors of an autocross or drag car. You could just program in whatever race number you’re assigned, rather than have it grease penned on the windshield.

        3. roguetoaster Avatar

          Absolutely brilliant!

        4. Kiefmo Avatar

          You have salvaged the idea. Bravo!

  4. crank_case Avatar

    Won’t electric cars have to make some sort of noise in future so that pedestrians can hear them coming? There’s no reason for it to sound like an engine, it could sound like a TIE fighter or just bellow “OUT OF MY WAY PEASANTS” continually.

    1. Kiefmo Avatar

      I’ve long thought it should sound like George Jetson’s car.
      Because Future.

    2. irishzombieman Avatar

      I think a long, continuous warbling scream, from every single car on the road, would foster the correct sort of pedestrian paranoia.

    3. Drzhivago138 Avatar

      Mine would sound like the Millennium Falcon, or a John Deere two-cylinder.

      1. Vairship Avatar

        1. Troggy Avatar

          This, or the sound of a hot bulb engine from a Lanz Bulldog. It’s a heavy thumpa-thumpa that is felt as much as heard.

  5. Travis Dangler Avatar
    Travis Dangler

    License plate frames that display your most recent tweets while reporting your exact location to that Google+ account you’ve never used.

  6. PotbellyJoe★★★★★ Avatar

    I want an LED display on the back of my car, with just three messages.
    “Thank You”
    I feel like those three could go a long way in reminding us that there are humans in the cars and they are not just obstacles along your way.
    Now If I could get messages like, “Your Brights are on” That would be great too, but If you can’t comprehend that the blue electric Jellyfish on your dash is already telling you that, I can’t expect you to read my car either.

    1. Colonel Panik Avatar
      Colonel Panik

      My 1970 Toyota HiLux had a small PA and speaker under the hood.
      Yes, I did get in trouble with that.

      1. E34Less Avatar

        I’ve always wanted a PA in my car. But I’m enough of a smartass that it would end terribly.

    2. ptschett Avatar

      I’ve tried flashing my pickup’s cargo bed lights at people I pass who were still running the brights after my pass was done.
      I think it worked once. (But there was an oncoming car about a mile away, too…)

  7. roguetoaster Avatar

    Stickers boasting about having a naturally aspirated car are about 15-20 years from reality. These would probably manifest as follows in very 1990s scripts/colors/fonts:
    ALL MOTOR!!!
    and a carburetor leaking on a turbocharger, ala the awful Calvin stickers.

  8. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
    Greg Kachadurian

    Personally, I think a sticker like this will never go out of style.

    View post on imgur.com

  9. Rodzilla Avatar

    If anything, I would prefer something large and prominent, telling other drivers to put away their phones and focus on the task at hand – driving safely. Sort of the modern day equivalent of “Baby on board”. “I would like to get to my destination safely, without having to dodge a distracted driver.”

  10. ConstantReader Avatar

    A yellow square that says “Shut up, get off the phone and drive, moron!”

  11. Brian Driggs Avatar

    Is Arizona the only place where every clever new church with a band has their own brand and vinyl cutter? I’d say a good 40% of vehicles in the Phoenix area are sporting brand name church logos in their windows these days. Second only to stick figure families. It’s depressing.