Do you remember the 80's TV show called Night Rider? Not the one about the nocturnal rapist but the crime fighter Michael Knight. The show was probably best remembered for his car called KITT, who would happily chat away to Mike about criminal's whereabouts, how best to approach a hideout or Michaels drinking habits.
Well, it turns out that talking cars may be just a few years away from us normal folk. But, wait a moment, wasn't there a talking car from British car manufacturer Austin called the Maestro? Many will remember the hype associated with this poor effort from our top car builder and ever striking workforce, because as kids we begged our Dad's to buy one just so we could hear it say: 'Warning, engine failure imminent.'
The talking Maestro was eventually discontinued with many 'Dad's' saying how annoying it was after 1 million comments about failure to fasten seatbelts and please do not drink and drive. It was reported that some owners even returned their cars to Austin where they insisted the car be 'shut up.'
The Maestro disappeared over 20 years ago, but now it appears the Germans are leading the assault on the talking car market once more.
This begs the question, 'What will modern talking cars say?' The poor old Maestro had to rely on a somewhat simple computer that would only report car and driver faults hence the reason our Dad's got pissed off so quickly. My Dad said: 'I don't need a car to tell me what I am doing wrong all the time - I have your Mother to fulfil that role.'
The latest models however have computing power equivalent to 100 Stephen Hawkings (not to be confused with Justin Hawkins where 100 of him would still only be equivalent to a Speak n Spell). This means the opportunity for small talk with our cars could well be on the agenda.
Just imagine driving to work when the car in front turns without signalling. You say 'I hate it when tits like that that don't signal before turning and your car says 'Yes I imagine it's really irritating from your point of view.'
More interesting however could be your car's advice on various more complex chats. Imagine asking your car if you should kick your boss in the balls before leaving your boring, tedious job or its views on the benefits of investing in guilt edged bonds over the now downgraded Spain.
Wouldn't it be great discussing over population with your people carrier, the depletion of environmental fuels with your sports car or the stigma attached to mental illness with your over priced Italian rust bucket.
Consider one of those heated arguments you have in the car with your wife about directions or being late for the meal because she couldn't get her Bridget Jones pants on. The car could act like a marriage counsellor asking you both to focus on the other person's good points or just think of the kids and dog!
I suspect that talking cars will just be another novelty that will soon turn out to ne an annoyance. I like the piece and quite of my car or just listening to the radio thank you very much.