With their desire to constantly live
better through technology, the Japanese have come up with a new
high-tech solution to road rage. They've invented a car that
speaks to you when you start driving crazy and calms you down.
This real talking car is called the Pod.
According to the London Observer it is being manufactured as
a joint venture between Toyota and Sony. Apparently it can sense
when drivers are steering erratically, speeding or slamming on
the brakes. In other words, the way ninety percent of the population
gets to work.
There was no indication whether the car
can sense which finger a driver is waving out the window or how
many different words for "idiot" can understand.
I'm personally a very calm driver. I
really don't expect that honking my horn at someone really has
much of a chance of making them a better person. Someone who
weaves in and out of traffic, passes on the shoulder or otherwise
displays the outward appearances of a four-wheeled menace is
not likely to see the error of their ways because someone honks
When a passenger, my wife sometimes points
out drivers she thinks I should be honking at. Invariably they
are men built like refrigerators with tattoos and a pit bull
chained to the back seat. Granted, they may be driving erratically,
and as the police like to say: "without due care and consideration
for other vehicles", but I'm not about to be the one to
point out the error of their ways. These tend to be the same
people who have a habit of getting out of their cars at the next
red light and giving you a quick lesson in the more fragile aspects
of human anatomy.
I'm not convinced that after giving some
nut a darn good honking any of them have ever rolled down their
window and apologized for an inconsiderate lane change.
While not the saint of the highways,
I like to keep my ultimate goal in mind when driving getting
there in one piece. And if that means giving way to a couple
of Neanderthals on the way home, then I think my male ego can
All of which begs the question of who
is likely to buy a car that criticizes their driving. People
who consider themselves good and courteous drivers won't think
they need it. Bad drivers won't want it, unless they would like
the opportunity to listen to it complain. I suppose that's why
Toyota has also programmed this talking car to compliment you
on good driving habits. I suppose it says things like: "nice
turn signal" or "thank you for not making an obscene
In addition to the compliments on your
road manners, the Pod will say that it's happy to see you and
is looking forward to your drive. If you haven't taken the car
out for a spin for a while, it will tell you that it has missed
Great - just what we all need. One more
family member complaining that they never see you anymore. I
can hear it now:
"So where have you been?" the
car will pout.
"I've been taking the bus."
"A likely story you've been
partying it up with that gas guzzling Jeep across the road, haven't
"I've been walking to the bus stop.
"Don't lie to me. You've always
liked them big and dumb. Honestly, we never talk anymore."
There is something to be said for the
strong, silent type. Especially in a car.