With all the speculation on the VW/Apple iCAR, I can not help but wonder about the end user experience. Will the iCAR only run on iFUEL from the iGAS station? Will the iCAR only be able to drive on iROADS? Can I use high-end iTIRES? Will maintenance be provide by the Genius Bar? Or a VW iDEALERSHIP? Even better yet, when the battery needs replacement, will it be cheaper to buy a new iCAR or pay for the iCAR to be shipped back to the factory for a new battery?
At least there is good news for us overclockers and hacks who laugh at warranty and EULA restrictions. If you thought tweaking your mobo for that extra MHz was fun, wait to you tweak the car’s OS. To pull extra Horse Power from cars in the past, I needed my tool chest and lots of hand cleaner. Today’s shade tree mechanic can get results just by plugging a special USB cord into the car. For example a stock VW Passat may come with 205 base horsepower. You can tweak the timing, mixture, shift points and boost enough to enable it to pull an extra 35+ horsepower without even cracking the hood.
Other fun VW OS hacks include setting the Sunroof to auto-close when you double tap the lock button on your remote. It may be possible to set the lumbar and seat adjusters to work in a rhythmic fashion to massage your weary back on those long road trips. My own 07 Passat already tilts the side mirrors when I back up so that I can watch the curb.
So as iCAR teases our imagination and curiosity, along with the dread of another fashionable iFAD, at least there is that other frontier of Tech calling us to keep pushing the limits.
Remember – Hack and drive responsibly.