It’s April already and many of us will soon be scoffing Easter eggs and enjoying a long weekend off work, but the month’s first ‘event’ is, of course, today, the very first day, when various people and organisations play tricks and have a bit of a laugh. As we’re in the car industry, we thought we’d round up our picks of this year’s witty headlines.
This isn’t the first time that a car company has engaged with dating apps, as Ford really did film the dates of five lucky couples put together after swiping right on seeing the new Mustang on Tinder, but Honda’s jokey idea is pretty funny. The Japanese firm says that it has come up with an app called H-Swipe, which they reckon will use GPS to pinpoint the nearest potential love matches, displaying them on the digital windscreen when the car is stationary (even at traffic lights). Honda says that its clever, dating-friendly windscreen wipers will be able to move both ways, so drivers can swipe left or right each time a possible date appears.
Anyone who’s lucky enough to have ordered a brand new car from a factory, or seen their parents order one, will know that long waiting lists and delivery slots are often involved. Hyundai has cooked up a great solution, on paper at least, called Hy-drones. The announcement states that someone will be able to basically visit the Hyundai website, add their desired car specification to the shopping basket, pay for it and then choose optional ‘Click to Fly’ delivery. The car will then be delivered by drones powered by Hyundai’s hydrogen fuel cell technology (which does actually exist), emitting nothing but water vapour. Apparently Hyundai will fit its delivery drones with a special sat nav system on licence from the Martians, to give them pinpoint accuracy. Cars that are in stock will be delivered by four Hy-drones, one on each corner, within just two hours, according to the Koreans’ April 1st press release.
“We’re not usually ones to crow about our achievements but I think we’ve scored a birdie with this one”, said McLaren’s spokesperson, called Robin Crane, after explaining how one of their biomimicry boffins placed a fallen feather onto a supercar, leading to the creation of the Feather Wrap. The British sports car maker reveals that if someone chooses this unique exterior styling for their 570GT, it will mean that a whopping 10,000 carbon-veined artificial feathers will need gluing on by hand in a process which takes 300 hours, but the good news is that it won’t add any more weight to the car than a normal metallic paint job. Also, the feathers will cleverly reduce drag, helping the car go faster – not like it needs to!
Okay, it’s an idea full of flaws, with the potential for rude or offensive messages getting displayed, but I’ve always liked the concept of being able to display notes on cars’ rear windows, such as ‘going slowly because I’m loaded down with IKEA furniture’. MG has only gone and done it, or so says their April 1st press release, with MG Inter-Car Emoji technology (MICE for short) involving advanced LEDs tipped to let drivers express their innermost thoughts through enormous emojis on the windscreen and rear window. From a simple smile or a ‘thumbs up’ to winks, kisses and a whole load of other gestures, MG is confident that the new tech, which they say they developed partly by following YouTube videos they found while looking for cute kittens, will reduce motorists’ frustrations over not being able to communicate with other road users.
Taking a car for a test drive hardly ever provides a realistic experience of what it’d be like to live with in real life in a person’s actual circumstances, so to coincide with the sale of their new full-size Kodiaq SUV, SKODA announced on April 1st that various ‘Rent-a-Family’ options can now be specified when booking a test drive. Providing potential Kodiaq customers with a real flavour of living with the car, options will include stressed dads, grumpy grandmas, sulking teenagers, kids with crayons, a dog that won’t stop barking because it feels travel sick, and children constantly asking ‘are we there yet?’ and saying they need the toilet. “What better and more realistic way to enjoy a test drive than in a car filled with passengers?” commented SKODA UK’s Head of Marketing, Mr Itsaj Oake.