Unlikely Automotive Component Enters the Digital Age, Promises Convenience, Annoyance, Privacy Concerns

Why should life be hard? We have science. That was basically my dad’s rationale for replacing his gas-powered lawnmower for one of the lithium-ion variety — a product I didn’t know existed until it showed up at his house one day.

Yes, technology can be great. In our cars, it keeps insurance adjusters at bay and our cars out of the rhubarb. There’s no doubt that Cadillac deserves kudos for introducing the electric starter back in 1912 — no one likes breaking their arm or getting run over in the driveway while trying to fire up the ol’ heap. Still, as our society becomes more connected (and, strangely, more politically polarized), basic tasks seem to be handed over to digital minds at an ever greater clip. Adjusting the dash vents in a Tesla Model 3 involves navigating a menu on a touchscreen interface.

Now, a thin slab of metal affixed to one of more ends of our cars (a component historically hammered out by sweaty convicts) has entered the digital age. The license plate.

It was a long time coming. Naturally, it costs a stupid amount of money to have one.

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  • Jeff S The Cybertruck is one of the most hyped vehicles in decades.
  • Nrd515 This is all I could think of seeing this. I saw it in the theater with my dad about 59 years or so ago:https://www.popcorncinemashow.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Mr-Sardonicus-1961-01.jpg
  • Art Vandelay I have no illusions tha my Challenger was going to be a car I wanted to own 10 seconds out of warranty. Fun, sure. Fun in 8 years? Hard pass based on the 2 years I had it
  • ToolGuy Weren't some of the most powerful engines in the M4 Sherman air-cooled? (And supercharged.)
  • ToolGuy "I installed oil temp and cylinder head temp gauges on various vehicles I was driving, so I could monitor how the engine was doing. I switched from my normal 20W50 and dropped to 15W40 oil and put down thousands of miles. Within that time, I saw a noticeable decrease in oil temps and even cylinder head temps while driving in different situations."ToolGuy has great admiration for your use of the scientific method in conducting original research.