In-Car Computer… Bad Idea

While watching a TV commercial last night my wife said to me “Who would have ever thought there’d be computers in cars?” I responded that I’ve had a computer in my car since 1997, then explained I’m talking about a cell phone.

There’s no reason we should have full blown computers in cars.  It doesn’t know us, it’s not robust and part of our everyday life.  It really only gets us from point A to point B.  Now our cell phones are with us nearly everywhere we go.  From the minute most people wake up in the morning to the time they go to sleep their cell phone is most likely within 3 feet of them, I know mine is.  I believe our cell phones should be the computers in our car and the hardware in the car should just be a medium or a go between for us to view the zeros and ones on our phones.

My cell phone has all the navigation I need and let’s say I get a new Toyota SUV and use an iPhone, if I don’t already have the navigation that Toyota (or Ford, Chevy, Nissan, etc.) may want me to use they can just publish their own app for me to download and use when I’m in my car.  I don’t mind downloading an app like that, it’s better than being stuck with the same interface in my car for the next 3 years of my lease, at least the app is easily updatable.

Most people store their music on their phones or have the ability to stream it from the cloud and by using your phone versus your car to stream music you can keep from having to pay for another device on your mobile plan.

Even my work number is always with me in my cell phone with Phone.com.  All my calls are just forwarded to my cell and now with cars having hands free I can talk while driving.  In the old days you’d just have another number for your car phone, now it’s so much easier.

In my mind, there’s NO reason to have a full blown computer in my car that I interface with, I like my phone and that’s what I want to use in my car.  Apple, Google, MS (Nokia) and BlackBerry have all spent millions if not billions of dollars on mobile operating systems and millions of man hours, Chevy or Ford don’t need to compete with that, just build on it with an app for my car.