Considering how many products the “Made in China” tag has been applied to in the United States, it’s amazing that cars have not been added to the list.
That won’t last, as rumors of a Chinese car company entering the U.S. market have circled for years. When it will actually happen remains unknown, but when it does, we could be in for a repeat of the Hyundai/Kia story that has unfolded over the last 25 years.
Would the first Chinese cars to arrive be as low-quality as the very first Hyundais were in 1986, or is it possible that the cars will impress with a quality no one expects?
Well, if the first Chinese car to come here has a talking robot that pops out of the dash, things could get interesting. Weird, but interesting.
As I glanced through the world of car news across the blog-o-sphere this weekend, I came across this headline on Yahoo!’s Motoramic blog:
Chinese car maker BYD to offer pop-up talking robot in dashboard
Why did that catch my attention? Because it’s awesome, that’s why. Automakers in the U.S. have been so busy thinking of confusing interfaces involving mysterious joysticks and touchscreens that perhaps they have overlooked the simplest idea of all:
A talking robot.
There isn’t much info on what, exactly, the robot will do, but the Yahoo! story says it
uses voice controls for Internet connections, music downloads, some vehicle controls and may even monitor for drowsy drivers through cameras in its face.
If it’s true, I’m even more convinced this is the way to go.
In addition to controlling the climate and audio controls, we should have robots program and recite our GPS directions, text for us, make our phone calls, heck, even apply our makeup and unwrap our Big Macs and feed them to us. Robots could be the answer to the driver-distraction problem that our bad habits and new in-car technology has created. A dash robot is a perfect fit for our lazy American-driver lifestyle.
Maybe the robot could even chat with us when we appear sleepy and tell us jokes along vast stretches of empty highway.
Remember the movie Flight of the Navigator? I’d want my robot like Max, but without his snarky little comments about Twinkies. I don’t need my Chinese car-robot judging me.
If, or when, a Chinese auto company brings a car to market here in the U.S., would you consider one if the price was right, dash robot or not?