Car care for the confused.

Author:Oakes, Pam
Position:Marketplace
 
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THERE IS NOTHING like the looks of classic cars--those iconic lines, the trim; they are rolling works of art. However, "style" now takes a back seat to technology, but it did not have to be this way. For instance, there was the 1940s Chrysler Thunderbolt--decades ahead of its time when it came to energy efficient aerodynamics. Most of today's vehicles, however, resemble something out of the movie "Sleeper." These body effects, coupled with the fear of the unknown, are making senior drivers a little nervous, so they are stepping back from wrapping their hands around these concept cars and trucks.

"It's hard enough the way people drive. I don't want to have to deal with anything else," explains octogenarian Martin Cox of Maryland. "I don't want the pressure." He is not alone. According to the Pew Research Center, 18% of those over 65 claim to have some type of smartphone. So, what about a "smart car?' Cox said that type of advanced technology is something he does not want to have in his garage. "I want to drive. I want to choose. I don't want to have some computer telling me what route to take, what direction to go."

Unlike Cox, some seniors have been exposed to the electronic advancements, but choose to stay away, free from any type of technology. My father is a good example. As an automotive technician for more than 45 years, you would think that he would have embraced state-of-the-art, automotive technology after retirement. There is nothing further from the fact. Sure, he implemented mechanisms--when necessary--while performing automotive repair and shop management but, when it came down to his personal connection with any device, forget it.

Do not get me wrong. He enjoys watching the Science Channel broadcast descriptions of the future. He enjoys all the options on his latest Z06, and still enjoys "Star Trek" as much as he did in the 1960s, but he is retired. Do not give him a laptop; do not hand him a cellphone. They simply will sit in a drawer somewhere in the house.

I am just the opposite: anything techie 1 am in to test it out. When the latest automotive scan tool came out, I was there; new and improved diagnostic equipment--after proper research, of course--I had it. Still, I am not one of those who stands in line for days on end for the latest Apple object, but when it comes to technology that is going to make me money in the shop and my life easier--all at the same time--I am in.

Has automotive connective technology become the...

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