Computers versus automobiles

Thursday, 11 May 2017

by: Sacha Oerlemans

Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated: “If GM had kept up with the technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.”

In response to Bill’s comments, General Motors issued a press release (by Mr. Welch himself) stating: If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

  • Automobiles would frequently crash for no apparent reason. This would be so common that motorists would simply accept it, restart their car and continue driving.
  • Occasionally, for no reason, all doors would lock, and motorists could only enter their vehicle by simultaneously lifting the door handle, turning the key, and holding the radio antenna.
  • Vehicles would occasionally shut down completely and refuse to restart, requiring motorists to reinstall their engine.
  • Every time GM introduced a new model, car buyers would have to relearn to drive because all controls would operate in a new manner.
  • Whenever roadway lines are repainted motorists would need to purchase a new car that accommodates the new “operating system.”
  • Cars could normally carry only one passenger unless the motorist paid extra for a multi-passenger license.
  • Apple would make a car powered by the sun, more reliable, five times as fast, that required half the effort to drive, but could operate on just five per cent of roads.
  • Oil, water temperature and alternator warning lights would be replaced by a single 'general car default' warning light.
  • Airbags would ask, 'Are you sure?' before deployment.
  • Vehicle buyers would be required to also purchase a set of deluxe road maps from Rand-McNally (a GM subsidiary), regardless of whether or not they want it. A trained mechanic would be required to delete them from the glove compartment.
  • To shut off the engine motorists would press the 'start' button.

Extract from VTPI.

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