Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Here's where you can put your radar, "Dude"
Ok, so the newest "important" innovation offered by the Dodge Durango is radar. It's installed in the front grille, and it can detect how close you are to the nearest car. And it communicates with the Cruise Control system, so I guess it automatically adjusts the distance to keep you safe. Or something.
"In this competitive world," our favorite unseen monotone self-satisfied Dodge spokesperson tells us, being able to tell people 'hey dude, my car has radar' is a "game changer."
And this is where the commercial loses me. First, what's the "competition?" Who am I competing with when I hit the road in my 2003 Honda Civic? What am I competing FOR? Is the narrator actually telling us that being able to tell others that "my car has radar" is going to get me-- what? Girls? Better parking spaces? That promotion? Survival? What? I mean, help me out here, please.
"The SUV is back." Oh, gee, that's great news. Hey Dodge, here's one person who never missed them. Last time I checked, gas prices were still hovering at just under four bucks a gallon. Do you REALLY think that radar-controlled cruise control, and not decent gas mileage, is what it'll take to get us back into the showrooms?
One more thing. I don't believe for one minute that innovations like radar in the freaking grille, rear-view mirror cameras, or cruise control do anything to make the drivers of these vehicles "safer." In fact, I suspect that at some point someone will issue a white paper revealing that all these "safety features" really accomplish is the creation of a false sense of security, not to mention providing a license to drive distracted. After all, the car is doing all the driving, right?
Maybe the narrator DOES mean to tell us that driving IS a contest for survival. It's me and my radar-free, cruise control-deficient, hands-on radio Honda Civic v. the guy in the Durango who has been told that he's basically just a passenger and should feel free to adjust the seat temperature and yak away on his cell phone, the car will let him know it's getting too close to me. Considering the size of those things, I don't like my odds.
Oh, and "dude?" Really?