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January 05, 1990 - Image 71

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-01-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.



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HIGH-TECH
ON THE HIGHWAY

T

he 1960s marked
the era of the motor
for home, putting
the house on
wheels. In the
1970s, loud bells in the
suburbs rang in the heyday of
ice cream trucks, putting
sales of the icy delight on
wheels. The 1980s have
ushered in space-age ac-
cessories in automobiles, put-
ting complete offices or enter-
tainment centers on wheels.
Gone are the days when FM
radios were seen as luxuries,
and couch potatoes relied on
the family room couch to
watch videos. Enter compact
disc players with superior
sound, fancy anti-theft stereo
systems that are removable,
and video monitors to enter-
tain your noisy kids in the
back seat. Say good-bye to
shivering while battling the
cold of your car warming up.
Say hello to automatic
starters that order your car to

warm up as you touch a but-
ton while reading your
newspaper over a cup of coffee
at the kitchen table.
These are a few examples of
the many innovative car ac-
cessories now available to
consumers at increasingly af-
fordable prices. A radar detec-
tor used to be a status symbol.
Now, car phone owners are
almost as common as car
owners themselves.
If the old VW's were dubb-
ed "lemons," today's modern
accessoriezed cars would
likely be called "kiwi," "pas-
sion fruit," or "fancy fruit
salad." Some sources think
these accessories have gotten
out of hand, and car high-tech
has attracted some sarcastic
wit, like in Motor Trend's
"Top 10 Wretched Car Ac-
cessories" (November, 1989).
One, the sheepskin steering
wheel covers, mocks drivers
with "sweaty palms interfer-
ing with your control of the

Telephones,
computers
and fax
machines are
just some of
the new
state-of-the-art
gadgets for
the car.



AMY KOSSOFF

car" and asks, "What's next,
sheepskin shift knobs?"
Another, the phony cellular
antenna, is the perfect item
for Have-Nots who wish they
Had. Great for luring thugs to
break into your car to steal
the cellular phone you don't
really have.
All jokes aside, car phones
have become so common that
Ford Motor Company and
Ameritech Mobile Com-
munications have a joint ven-
ture that gives consumers a
car phone option before they
drive their Ford off the lot.
The option will be available
in the 1990 Lincoln Continen-
tal, Mark VII and Town Car,
according to The Chicago
Tribune.
When cellular phones first
hit the market, they were
primarily used for business
purposes, according to Wolf
Paviok, vice president and
director of engineering for
Motorola, a leader in the

cellular phone industry.
Paviok says the initial drive
for "productivity . . . turning
commutes into productive
time" has expanded, and the
growing consumer/personal
market looks for safety in-
surance and convenience
when installing a car phone.
Michael Knight, a portable
communications consultant
for Ameritech, likens the con-
venience to gaining the time
of an another workday. "If
you spend an hour a day in
your car, that's five hours a
week. That's almost one work
day wasted a week" without
a car phone. By becoming
more productive, you'll be a
better asset to the company
you work for, says Knight. "I
close a lot of deals on the way
to work in the morning and
then on the way home," he
says.
But it gets better. When
PC/Computing magazine
wrote about automobile

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

A-15

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