GPS and All

A few years ago GPS devices to aid in navigation became available in cars through add-on devices such as Garmin put out that were rather large and clumsy by today’s standards, but seemed to be a miracle at the time.  Rental cars were often people’s first introduction to GPS navigation as Hertz and other rental companies equipped selected cars with aftermarket versions.

Today most cars priced above $30K come with them built in to the car’s dashboard.  Glowing screens that warn you not to use them as you drive or to do so at your own risk. 

One of today’s most sought after supercars, the Nissan GTR comes with GPS to control your speed.  That’s right your speed.  At a recent event at CMP one owner brought his GTR to the track to run in the two day event, but prior to showing up he had to go to the dealer and have the speed limiter disabled so that he could run wide open at the track.  GPS confirmed his location was truly at the track so that the speed limiter was removed.  The computer on this supercar also records everything the driver does which is one reason that an attorney decided against completing his purchase.

GPS was not the first method of navigation assistance as told in this entry of Strange Maps.

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2 Responses to GPS and All

  1. Noel says:

    Wonder how that will work in Germany where some sections of the autobahn are 130 kph and others are speed limit free zones? Be pretty annoying to be limited to the middle lane at 130 on the A5 or A3 when the left lane is running at 200 to 240. Or is it only here in the land of the “free” and home of the no personal responsibility that this “feature” is activated?

    Personally, I just use my phone. Gets me where I need to go, no extra junk to carry, and no one breaks into my car because they see the mark the GPS suction cup leaves on the windshield.

    And whatever happened to road maps, anyway?

  2. markitude says:

    Jim,

    Excellent post. Science fiction often shows us the irony that the very technology that is supposed to liberate and serve us, often winds up serving to control us. Whether or not that is a good thing depends upon personal point of view.

    As for me, I rebel. I miss the ’89 and hope to put it back on the road after getting into the shop. The Z06 has a lot of computer management that keeps in in line – certainly no where near what the GTR does…but still in comparison to drive by cable instead of drive by wire, there is a decidedly different feel to the cars.

    Ironically, in the future, real freedom may come from a vertex magneto and a carb.

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