We just bought a Nissan X-Trail, in preparation to an addition to our family…yes we downsized our car as our family gets bigger 🙂 There is method in the madness, but thats not the purpose of this post.
So much has changed since I bought a new car only seven years ago (a Nissan Patrol), push button start, animated dash. The X Trail has pretty good fuel economy, and the car gamifies fuel usage by recording both the life time fuel consumption average and a per trip average. If you get a new ‘high score’ (IE: a new record low fuel consumption average) at the end of trip it asks if you want to save it as the new best fuel consumption, and shows you a graph of past consumption. Pretty cool. My wife and I have already become competitive about who can get the lowest fuel consumption.
But what got me geeking out was the button on the dash that said ‘Apps’.
The first time I sat in the car my mind was immediately drawn to it. Apps…Apps. On the dash. Wow. That’s exciting.
What wonderful things lurked behind that one button press. Pressing it prompted me to connect the phone by bluetooth (which I would have done next anyway, I’m addicted to audiobooks and podcasts, so pairing my phone was a high priority).
Once I paired up, I was prompted to download the Nissan Connect App. I was getting pretty excited by this point, despite having to register for a Nissan Connect account on a website poorly designed for mobile devices. Even entering the VIN number, whilst a pain, increased my excitement. Surely it needed my VIN so it could provide amazing resources at my finger tips…
The app downloaded…I’d registered…and after about 10 minutes of tinkering to get everything set right through the arcane vargaries of modern wireless communications…I had my car computer connected to my phone. With baited breath I selected the Apps button..and found
Facebook. And Twitter.
Wow…colour me underwhelmed. Seriously? Facebook? How can that be a good idea? Hell why not project Angry Birds onto the dash? Or better…why not project Grand Theft Auto straight onto the windscreen?
I cannot think of one reason to have Facebook on your dash. Or Twitter. Unless the car is going to Tweet to the police ‘Hey this dick is speeding!’ Maybe you can facebook to other users when you are on the road so they know to stay out of your way?
Of course the no brainer is to let me put google maps onto the screen…but then that would interfere with the sales of the $1000 dollar Nissan SatNav system. You can connect Google maps…but only if you have the say nav system (kinda redundant really).
So much potential lost…how about having per-driver settings. When my phone connects, have all the dash and vehicle parameters set to my positions.
What about enhancing the gamification of CO2 and fuel savings by letting me record my results to my phone while other drivers get to save their results?
At least then at the end of the drive I could tweet how much fuel I’d saved!