Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The ultimate convergence of IT and machinery tech

The marvel of machinery technology must be automobiles. I mean it requires lots and lots of new and old technologies related to machines - engines, suspension, tires, materials, etc.

Now there is this Nissan GT-R, which I must call it the ultimate convergence of IT and machinery. It's got so many features accomplished by IT. I hear from the news that one could change the car's settings like damper ratio, gear changing speed, and etc, with touchscreen LCD, just as easily as one could do it in a video game.

It even has an location based speed limiter. It has a GPS receiver and the limiter allows the car to be driven up to 180km/h if it's outside a race track, and allows unlimited speed if it's in the track. BTW, this is an overkill and I am sure there will be hackers who will do some tricks to disable this features.. I mean who wants to drive that nice car to drive up to only 180km/h...?

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Anyways, I personally don't really like cars that have too many computer assisted features. I am probably more like European drivers, who like firm and stiff rides more and don't care much about anything else but driving when driving. (This sounds funny, by the way, but there are lots of people who buy cars not based on how it drives) One thing Japanese car still are behind Europeans is in making more rigid body structures, which help make the car feel more solid and handle more torsional force. What they lack in that department, they make it up with all those IT assisted features.

By the way, I really think European, especially German makers, could throw in those IT assisted features, but they probably just choose not to. More features require more parts, and more parts mean more costs and more possibillities for malfunctions. Also, their cars are great enough so that they just probably don't find a need for them as much.

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