7 car tech nightmares that will ruin your life

It will then reply with a text revealing its current location and speed. It will even drop its dastardly master a text when it's running low on battery charge.

5. Black boxes will become compulsory

Black boxes or devices that record various operational parameters and activities are generally seen as a good thing. They're commonly used in commercial aviation and provide crucial insight into the cause for any crash.

The same could very soon apply to cars. The technology is relatively simple. Indeed, some insurers are already experimenting with the idea with a view to setting premiums based on driving style. It's not a big step from there to imagine black boxes becoming compulsory.

On the face of it, the safety argument seems pretty compelling. On the other hand, do you really want electronic eyes watching your every move? It's the classic personal freedom versus broader public safety argument and we've an inkling the latter will eventually win out.

Traffic jam

6. Cyberjams and worse

Stories involving dunderheaded drivers who sheepishly follow satnav directions hundreds miles off course, into rivers, over cliffs and worse are already common place. It's classic one-last-thing local news bulletin material.

But in a world where cars are increasingly connected and automated, the scope for serious carnage increases. Take, for instance, the débâcle of Apple's own mapping software introduced with the iPhone 5 and iOS 6. Users reported widespread errors in mapping data.

Then factor in a future where in-car system are increasing powered by smartphones. Already, models from MINI, Vauxhall, Mercedes and others are already available with smartphone-powered nav.

You're then in a situation where a cloud based mapping error or an OS update could instant render thousands or millions of handsets and in turn cars with incorrect data. That could cause traffic chaos, or worse.

On the subject of traffic, with in-car nav systems increasingly fed with streaming traffic data, what happens if there's a data glitch or someone hacks the data provider for nefarious reasons? Record breaking traffic jams or, worse, pile ups could ensue. And you could achive that with a single hack, rather than having to target individual cars.

7. Say hello to your new four-wheeled overlords

This is it, the global catastrophe. The Skynet moment. Self-driving cars, you see, are on their way. They're inevitable and they're coming whether you like it or not.

Now, for the most part, self-driving cars will be a very good thing. They won't be perfect. But then they don't need to be to improve upon the horrific standards of most human drivers and in turn dramatically reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads.

They'll also have a dramatic positive benefit on all manner of modern life. For more on that, hop on over to our feature here. But with millions of fully automated cars running around, the scope for cataclysm whether by accident or malicious intent is pretty epic.

To be fair to cars, this falls into a broader category involving robots and perhaps event artificial intelligence too. But while a murderous robo-vacuum might be little more than amusing, millions of cars hell bent on destruction is another matter altogether. Anyway, keep thinking happy thoughts and maybe it will never happen. Either that or think twice when you vote in that robotic-car referendum 15 years from now!


Technology and cars. Increasingly the twain shall meet. Which is handy, because Jeremy (Twitter) is addicted to both. Long-time tech journalist, former editor of iCar magazine and incumbent car guru for T3 magazine, Jeremy reckons in-car technology is about to go thermonuclear. No, not exploding cars. That would be silly. And dangerous. But rather an explosive period of unprecedented innovation. Enjoy the ride.