They want to stick an internet in your car
Toyota Prius hybrid model cars at a Toyota dealer in Hollywood, Calif.
The automobile is the last place where Americans spend a lot of time that isn't fully wired. At least not yet. But car makers want it to be. On Monday, Ford announced a new program where you can look up directions on Google Maps, send them to your car, and then receive turn-by-turn directions read aloud as you drive. Within 24 hours, GM announced that they were going to do the same thing. While new cars have been relying on internal computers for a while (soon we may need a systems analyst instead of a mechanic), newer models are adding a second computer designed around networking: getting navigation information, connecting to Pandora or other entertainment sites, generally staying in touch as much as possible. But if we're all on the internet and surfing through a bunch of options and connections, doesn't that make us more likely to, you know, crash into things?
We talk to Molly Wood, the executive editor at CNET.com, a site that does a lot of tech product reviews, to get inside the tech mindset that's leading to our new wired cars. We also talk to Doug Van Dagens, Director of Connected Services at Ford about how they're making this stuff work and work safely.
We also hear about bike helmets that emit the stench of formaldehyde when they crack and can't be used.