The special kind of annual rearview mirror. I've been driving a company car for several months now. The first "non-Saab" in almost 10 years. German make, premium. There is not much more to say about it. The arguments for a new, modern car can sometimes not be dismissed out of hand. In my case, it was the intelligent lighting system that made the difference.
Because my eyes are not as powerful at night as they were 20 years ago.
And everything that takes the pressure off and helps to make driving safer is good. With the company car, digitization also conquered my last, analog bastion. Well, almost at least. I still treat myself to the daily newspaper on paper. Consciously, and stick with it as long as possible. Readers who have been following the blog for a while know that I make my living in IT. I've been experiencing digitization for decades, long before the word was invented. However, I work in the sensitive area that is only used when nothing works and all alarm lights are on. I experience the effects from their difficult side, as a fire brigade and last resort. Hence my critical look at some developments.
My car is writing. SMS or mail.
And now, a digital car. It communicates with me. Text me. For example, if I forget to lock it again. Happened to me again and again, so far without consequences. My Saab then stands patiently in the parking lot and waits. The company car answers. Doors open or the panoramic roof not closed. You can then close it with your smartphone. But there is more communication. A few days ago at the Italian breakfast. The company car is parked in another city, not moved for days. He sends me an email. Look, I tell my wife, an email from my car. The best wife of all raises her eyebrow in irritation. The company car, it drives him into the workshop. And because he's a smart computer, he writes me straight away what needs to be done, lists each part and the final price. Then he becomes demanding. Hey man, 30 days. The clock is running.
1 day later. The company car and I are on the road together again. Now he wants to make a phone call. Call the authorized workshop immediately. He conjures up the extension number from the cloud. Or data cloud, as German politicians call their new digital territory. Make an appointment. Anyway, he's polite enough to ask me before dialing the supervisor's extension. I like? I don't feel like it and I forbid him to do so. Now he is offended and hides himself in silence. But only lasts for 2 days.
That is the present, and my communicative vehicle is still reserved. Other brands are beeping, noisy, demanding. They scan the driver and ask him to keep his eyes on the road. Or tell every crap that I don't want to know.
Saab vs. digitalization
The silence. Radio off, smartphone off. And rest is in the Saab. What do old, analogue cars have to counter the digital wave? None of my Saabs write an email or SMS. Not until now. And if so, he would fax it or teleprinter try. Both antique and unknown to the younger generations. Ashamed, he points out on the display when he thinks an inspection is appropriate. What parts he needs, how much money it could cost - he has no idea. I also don't. Every service in a workshop remains a surprise, the mechanic screwing on the trolley a person of respect. The clarifying bill follows at the end.
Modern cars optimize us. You try. The AI reads to me where the traffic gets slower, it senses my routes, it minimizes my travel times. She recognizes problems before I suspect them. That's good - objectively. But it's also boring. Because it robs us of something that defines life. The adventure, the imponderable.
The interaction between man and machine, the sensitive anticipation of the conditions, it falls by the wayside. We will lose these skills. Readers remember my tour with the Saab 9-3 Aero. A defective car that heroically tows its way home via Kiel, Hamburg, Hanover. In the end it did remains lying and needs the towing service. Since then I have always been talking about and amusing with my friends in my old cars. Old cars, the analogue, they have something to report. You live and experience something with them, even if you could do without some experiences. The fact that they are not perfect increases the perceived lifetime.
Future generations will have an optimized mobility experience. As a highlight, digitization will perhaps give you the next software update. Great, one more feature when things go well. A bug and a system crash if not. No sparkling prospects!
The year 2019 ends, and a new decade begins in the 20s. Electrically and with the force of digitization of mobility.
I wish the readers a good start. Stay relaxed. And analogously. Just keep driving Saab!