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Your automobile needs a tech support plan

Would you buy a software-defined vehicle from a used car salesman?
Dateline: 12 February 2024

If you’re like me, you love tech and you love cars. But you don’t like buying the latest model, with all the bells and whistles, only to see it lose a fifth of its value the moment you drive it off the showroom floor.

Like me, you like to buy a good pre-owned, pre-loved model that has been well looked after, and won’t put you in hock to the bank for five years of repayments. In other words, a great deal!

Which is a problem, if your car of choice is one of those high-tech models, with over-the-air software updates, and an embedded AI autopilot. Your first question has to be: What’s the support plan? The last thing you want is a firmware failure, stuck on the highway in limp mode, or auto-steering into a ditch, because of a ‘system glitch’.

Yes, it’s true. Unless it’s one of those ‘vinyl’ retro models, your ride is more like a supercomputer on wheels, than a mobile mean machine. When the main display goes blank, you know who you’ve gotta call, and it’s not Ghostbusters or the dealer who took your money. It’s Tech Support.

And just like old computers, second-hand cars might have some unexpected hidden ‘features’, like an out-of-date operating system, or optional extras with an expired license; even end-of-support versions, or a history of being constantly hacked.

So, if you’re scoping the market for a nice used car, don’t kick the tyres – check the support plan!

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Warning: Hazardous Thinking at Work

Despite appearances to the contrary, Futureworld cannot and does not predict the future. Our Mindbullets scenarios are fictitious and designed purely to explore possible futures, challenge and stimulate strategic thinking. Use these at your own risk. Any reference to actual people, entities or events is entirely allegorical. Copyright Futureworld International Limited. Reproduction or distribution permitted only with recognition of Copyright and the inclusion of this disclaimer. © Public domain image.

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