Just A Simple Car. Nothing More. Because simple is the new smart.

April 1, 2022

Back when that still was thing, I used to buy the most basic HiFi equipment I could find: no frills, no EQ, no fance displays. Just an amplifier with an on/off button, a volume dial and input selector.

I was thinking about that yesterday when discussing connected cars. Ford believes the future of profitability for the company is all the data from its 100 million vehicles (and the people in them). And after the announcement that Mercedes will share road condition data with the Dutch government someone suggested that soon Mercedes will give away cars for free, because this will be profitable enough (I didn’t keep the link; if someone knows please send it to me).

And I was wondering. With all these electric cars becoming more and more complex, essentially turning into big supercomputers that happen to also have wheels: would’t there be a (niche) market for people like me that want just a car. Electric (of course). But nothing more. Not digital. With simple mechanical controls, manual locks, windows, shields. As simple, as basic, as possible. Hardly any computer or electronics inside. Something you can maintain with a screwdriver, instead of a logic analyser.

Because simple is the new smart.

(Unfortunately, such a simple car would probably also be much more expensive. At least, that used to be the case with HiFi and other electronics: the price was inversely proportional to the number of knobs, dials and displays.)

P.S.: This applies to other devices as well, of course: just.a.tv, just.a.fridge, just.a.phone, just.a.bike, just.an.oven, just.a.website, etc.

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Xander van der Voort
, 2022-04-01

Your car would be way too dangerous to drive, without all the electronic collision avoidance gizmos. Wouldn’t probably be allowed. Just be happy with your
ancient HiFi system, while the electrolytic capacitors still last. 😀

Regards, Xander.