Although it doesn't seem to be evolving very fast, automotive technologies available to the public actually are. That's a good thing, and it is a shame when some industries stop rapid innovation, as it is the consumer that is hurt. Now some might argue that when technology in any sector slows just slightly, that this is better as consumers adopt the new and adjust for it, which also allows companies to make a profit on their R&D without being leap-frogged prior to recouping that upfront investment.

Now then, there are many new auto tech innovations coming forth, and I am sure you are aware of the Google Autonomous car, self-parallel parking Lexus, and all the hybrid new models coming out each year. Indeed, I am sure you've watched how the modern day automobile is able to interact with your smart phone and personal tech devices, allowing hands-free driving, along with all the GPS type features and interactivity; but there is still more.

In fact, there was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal on February 13, 2013 titled; “Five New Technologies to Make Driving Easier,” by Joseph B. White, which listed a click-able activated inflatable seat belt, flat panel display customization, ultra-efficient 10-gear transmissions, and autonomous vehicle systems. I'd like to discuss the issues concerning the concept of HUD and Flat Panel Displays for automobiles for a moment, as this is something that is now becoming available on the “new Lexis IS F-Sport model,” according to the article.

It turns out that the US Navy had done early research into what they call the “T” formation for dashboard instruments in the cockpit as to not distract the pilot and allow everything the needed to really know in a tight little area, with all the other instruments elsewhere, but always the “T” formation with such things as the airspeed, altimeter, artificial horizon, climb indicator, and the rudder ball. Perhaps, this is the ancient beginnings of the common cockpit theory now being promoted by NASA, the FAA, and military – which is a worthy idea no doubt – all aircraft would have nearly identical configurations.

Of course, if each person can customize the instruments on their flat panel display dashboard, just as you customize your computers desktop, then how will others who borrow the car deal with it, and how will people who rent cars deal with the differences, and will they have to reconfigure the rent-a-car before they start so everything is where they are used to it being located? You see, the US Navy, FAA, and years of research had gone into all this for the most efficient position of each instrument. Car designers also try to keep it simple for less distraction.

Yes, some people think differently, but how can each person have all the research background to know the safest and most efficient place to put each gauge if they are to reconfigure the placement themselves?

If it's done wrong that might cause a.5 of second delay, meaning they are looking at the dashboard longer, while traveling down the road, meaning less reaction time to something outside the vehicle meaning more accidents, which is akin to the distracted driver issues we are dealing with as people attempt to text message, put on lipstick, or read the paper while driving. Do you see that point as well? Please consider all this and think on it.