When I drove my new car off the lot last week, I quickly learned that I don’t know how to drive.
Oh, I have a license. And I’ve been doing it for 30 years now. Yet, I felt like a newbie those first few days. Because cars have changed a lot since the last time I purchased one.
I bought my Hyundai in 2002. That hardly seems like the Dark Ages, yet it came standard with a combination CD player/cassette deck. I was excited about the cupholders, for crying out loud. In contrast, my Mazda includes an infotainment system with 7″ full-color touchscreen display, Bluetooth® hands-free phone and audio connectivity, blind spot monitoring system on the driver and passenger side mirrors, a rearview camera with traffic alert, dual-zone climate control, outside temperature gauge, auto-dimming interior mirror with Homelink, and cupholders. This was all a bit overwhelming at first. Actually, I couldn’t even figure out how to start the car because – much like hotel rooms these days – it’s got no key, boasting instead a “Keyless Entry & Start System.” The one thing it does not have is a CD player, but it does come with multiple USB ports for connecting with an iPod, not to mention SiriusXM satellite radio.
Seriously, it took me a couple of days just to get used to all those features. I was so busy trying to figure out the controls the first time I drove it, I missed my exit and ended up crossing the Columbia River into Oregon, and then had to turn around and drive back across the bridge in the opposite direction to Washington.
But after taking her up to Seattle for the weekend, I’m beginning to feel more comfortable behind the wheel. I have to admit, it’s nice never having to take my keys out of my pocket. And even though I’ve never had a moonroof before, after just a few days I’m wondering how I ever lived without one. Just wait ’til summer.
So, while I may be busy searching in vain for cigarette lighters that no longer exist – not that I’ve ever smoked – at least I’m having fun doing so. Love my new car!
Are there any products that have become so technically advanced they challenge your capabilities to operate them efficiently?