Monday, November 03, 2008

Recently I've been pondering the mysteries of our universe (which explains my blogging absence as of late) and while I haven't solved any of these mysteries I definitely have put some thought into them.

The first mystery is why, oh why, has the idea of the automobile not changed in the last 100 years? I'll give it to Ford. He had one HECK of an idea. And in the beginning of the automotive era, there were some really huge advancements and improvements. But let's face it. The last 30 years have been pretty lame when it comes to what we putts around in on our way to The Workplace. Sure the hybrid was a novel idea, but the overall vehicle concept remained the same. Check it out automotive engineers. Our world has changed a great deal since the 1950s! I think it's time to redesign the automobile from the ground, er road, up. Do you need some ideas you jolly little money collecting chair warmers? It's a good thing I'm chalk full of them (I don't really have any idea what that phrase means, but everyone seems to use it).

The first is why the 2-slash-3 pedal system? If you ask me, the engineers of the sky got it right. Let's devise a throttle system instead of one pedal brake, one gas and possibly one clutch pedal. That's so inefficient and slow-reacting. One lever is all you need, whether it works with the foot or the hand (or even possibly with weight shift?), one direction speeds you up, the other slows you down. And let's make the throttle a "smart" throttle. When you set the speed for 50 mph, it accelerates properly and easily maintains your speed. None of this cruise setting garbage that doesn't really work when going up or down hills. If my foot can maintain a more consistent velocity, then so can a computer.

And seriously? Internal combustion engines? Could we use a more inefficient mechanical system? Here's a novel concept. DC drives and motors. Ever hear of 'em?

And why this two-passenger-up-front thing. If you're any kind of sci-fi freak then you've seen countless TV shows and movies that depict the bridge of futuristic spacecrafts containing three passenger chairs. One for the pilot, one for the navigator and one for the weapons specialist (which believe me would come in quite handy some days). Come on now. If alien and futuristic spaceships clearly see the need for such a setup, then why would automobiles be any different? Of course don't forget the pilot chair is always just a little more in front of the other two passenger chairs.

Now let's talk safety systems. The headlights for example have got to go. You're going to sit there in your comfy little chair and tell me that the dual, corner mounted headlight scheme that was cooked up back when we discovered darkness cannot be improved upon? What about one long, halogen stile front light? Or countless ultra-bright LEDs. Maybe even laser scanners that illuminate everything within a 100 foot radius of the vehicle.

Look people, here is my general gripe. We have clearly lost the will and the desire to come up with creative, and brand spankin' new ideas. We have locked ourselves in a room with well defined walls and decided that we can only improve upon old ideas. I call that stupid, idiotic and unmotivated. Let's break down the walls and look at the world from a completely new point of view. We've all seen video footage of people attempting to fly off of bridges in their homemade flying machines, way back when the world lacked colors other than gray. And who can forget the amazing story of the invention of the light bulb? Why can't we do that kind of stuff again?

So it's time to stop trying and actually DO something. Let's get inventive again. Let's forget about what we have now, and look at what we could create tomorrow. Well, that's one mystery pondered, another 314 to go.

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