Car Troubles

Apparently the car industry is stuck  somewhere in the 1990’s or earlier, when it comes to knowing and understanding the events happening inside your car and to your car’s electrical system, at any particular time or place.

So, if your new 2016 Honda Pilot is sitting in your driveway for the night and someone knocks on your door to tell you that all the windows in your car are down (first rain storm of the season), the back hatch is up and the sunroof is open; today’s technology won’t help to tell you why.

According to the service manager I talked with at Griffith Motors here in The Dalles, Oregon, there is no service code, for the computer to blink out, that will tells us why this event happened.

I mean, maybe she didn’t use the term “blink out”, but that was the image I got, of the system they still use. The system I am thinking of is a system where the technician plugs in a meter with a light and the car’s computer blinks out a code. The technician then counts the number of blinks and looks the count up in a book as to its meaning.

The “best” she said she could do for me was to give me her card and tell me that: “if this happens again (it had happened 3 times before and I had called once), don’t touch anything and give me a call.” I told her, “if it happens at 4:00 AM in the morning I will wait until 6:00 AM to call her.” She said, “Wait until 8:00 AM.”

So basically, in the car industry’s environment, it’s the dark ages when it comes to an owner or a car technician knowing what the car is doing, but when the car senses that the driver is letting the car drift off the road it shakes the steering wheel, tries to correct the action and displays a warning message.

Strategically, Honda Motors uses something similar to semaphore  and Morse code technology in its understanding of the workings of vehicle, but advertises and delivers a high tech system on the driver side of the equation. It’s a strategy that is built on Google (as in Googling), insurance companies, lawyers and a network system that works and is secured enough to make everyone money.

It seems to be a strategy of low expectation, except when it comes to the observation of the car’s sensors, the orientation of its code writers, and the environment of the internet. It’s a strategy that puts decision and action first, observation and orientation last.

Somehow I don’t think this “Blackswan” is going to end well. So far it’s day 3 and nothing eventful has happened. But then, how is one to know?