There was an article published on Jalopnik saying that we as car enthusiasts are going to be all hunky-dory in the future with programs that will allow us to change up our cars performance on the fly. That all we'll need to do is download a program off of the internet and boom more power on a car that handles better and might also give you a handjob on a lonely night.
But, let me tell you, that's not going to happen. At least not for a long time. Why? Because people are cheapskates and the automakers are even cheaper bastards. This is why cars still come with drum brakes even though we figured out that they're shit over 60 years ago. It's also how we got DFMA. I'll explain how it actually works for you:
Let's say that your company makes a box with a motor in it. Now this box is made out of sturdy metal and from multiple parts that allow for replacement and serviceability of the motor. Now, after making these for years, you decide to make a new and "improved" version. This new version is going to cost you less to make so that your profit margins increase. So, how are you going to do that?
First, you ditch all of the metal box components and fasteners and you replace them with a two piece plastic box. This new plastic box uses tabs to snap together and the motor is glued in place. This is a lot cheaper to make and you sell a whole shit load of them. This new box with a motor in it has no serviceable parts and when something breaks, the customer must buy a whole new one. But, this doesn't phase you as you do blow off of a Taiwanese hooker's ass, because you're making bank.
So, how does this apply to cars and make you, the gearhead's life fucking miserable?
Just look at this door panel here. Like all modern door panels, it's made out of cardboard like plastic and it's held on by plastic pins. So, you want to upgrade your speakers or fix your window regulator and you remove the panel. What do you hear? A bunch of snapping noises as about half of those little fuckers leave this plane of existence and get reborn as baby diapers. Welcome to the modern world, and trust me, it only gets worse from here.
So, what about all of that nifty whiz-bang software that'll allow you to change up your car's settings by downloading some random dude's program from The Pirate Bay? Welcome to the second level of hell.
Think about how many computer viruses and identity theft that occur on a daily basis. Now, think about that happening to your main mode of transportation that cost you $40K plus interest. Now, the car makers don't want their proprietary software being hacked now, what makes you think that they aren't going to be even more protective down the line? You download your homebrewed shit onto your car and turn it on. Your car connects to the grid and poof goes your warranty. Just like that, your footing the bill when your Mr. Fusion craps out and the dealer is the only place to get one from.
There is also the complete bullshit that you will be able to configure all of your cars parameters on the fly. There are things that can't be changed by pressing the virtual up key on your touch screen, these things include, the vehicle's mass, the chassis' rigidity, your tires, and any of the mechanical and not software operated parts of the car. So, your 6,000 lb lardmobile is still going to be a 6,000 lb lardmobile, but now with kung-fu grip steering feel!
So, call me a pessimist, say I'm just afraid of change, and be afraid to step on my lawn because I'm an old fart who doesn't get the future. But, you're wrong I love new innovations and would be perfectly happy to let the 17 year old text as her car drives her to Starbucks.
I'm not ornery, I'm just a realist.