I have been writing about connected cars for some time, but not as long as they have been around. The history of connected cars is fascinating and started in 1996 with Motorola and OnStar. The whole idea was to get help to people who are in car accidents. Last year, I was commissioned by a company in Germany to write a brief history of connected cars. It has taken a while to get the design and software to work but the result is lovely and fascinating.
There has been a recent trend in writing for everything to be a mashup of something previously written. I have seen articles supposedly by important sources that don’t reference where they got the information from. How do I know that the information is correct if I don’t know where it came from?
Feature writing requires the many features including citing of expert sources and fresh comprehensive information which is an art that few writers can do anymore.
Just because something is written and looks nice, doesn’t mean that it is true. Without citing sources news and even feature articles can be fake.
At the LA Auto Show, it became clear that the tech media industry is trying to infiltrate the automotive industry. They are trying to change the rules and it could be very costly to car-oriented websites and media. Let’s see why. CNET a website which started reviewing technology was at the show in full force. Starting off at the Connected Car Expo, CNET had a big media presence with live-streaming the car announcements like they live stream Apple announcements. Car-oriented websites and automakers should beware.
In November, a great person, friend and world renown Caltech mathematician Rick Wilson was hit by a pickup truck. He has spent the last six months recovering. When I went to visit him in the hospital with turkey soup, after Thanksgiving, he looked terrible. Dr. Wilson was crossing the street with the “walk sign” on. It was obvious to all involved that the driver who hit him was distracted.
I’ve written about distracted driving as early as January 2010 when U.S Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood announced a regulatory ban of texting by drivers of commercial vehicles such as large trucks and buses, along with stiff fines. Apparently the drivers are too distracted to be paying attention.
When I told him I write about connected cars he said, “You can’t have an electric car, unless you own a home, are rich or have another car!”
He had a limited view of the connected car space. He was talking about electric cars. Yes, it is nearly impossible even in large cities to drive an electric car without access to an electric outlet either in your own garage or nearby. His statements also made me realize that I live in the ideal place with the best of accoutrements for writing about connected cars and new car technology.