Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

My New Car Is Smarter Than Me It Took Me 20 Minutes Just to Reset the Clock

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

My New Car Is Smarter Than Me It Took Me 20 Minutes Just to Reset the Clock

Article excerpt

I no longer have an excuse to forget anyone's birthday.

Facebook reminds me each morning, as does my iPhone. And now - my car.

My 2015 Subaru Forester provides a screen on the dash in which I can input all important birthdays. Why I need that on my car dashboard is a mystery to me. All I really want to do is drive, occasionally haul garden stuff and listen to NPR, music or an audio book.

But I have an inch-thick owner's manual that instructs me on how to also set a reminder for my upcoming wedding or anniversary - and give me a beep alert so I don't forget - track my fuel economy history in a bar graph and set my triple-meter screen that displays up to three optical pieces of information, including my E/T, whatever that is.

I almost shudder at the news that both Google and Apple are designing car dashboard systems in which a smartphone would power the center screen. My chief concern is: Will I be able to figure it out?

When I purchased my new car, the salesman gave me a quick run- through of all the technical features. He volunteered on the spot - thank goodness - to set up the car's Bluetooth system with my phone to play music or make hands-free calls. They're nifty features, indeed.

What I hadn't noticed until I got home was that the dashboard clock was 10 minutes slow. No problem. I'll just push the "plus" or "minus" buttons to adjust the time, as I did on my previous Subaru. Not that simple. There are no such buttons.

I finally had to consult YouTube for a tutorial. There are tabs on the steering wheel with arrows that guided me through a multitude of screens on the dash. Once you get to the correct screen, there's more pushing and pulling to arrive at the clock and then to finally change the digits. It took me almost 20 minutes of trial and error to finally sync the correct arrow with the correct digit.

But I didn't save it and had to do it all over again.

* * *

Still, I'll take my Forester any day over the white 2003 Buick LeSabre I removed from my 91-year-old father's possession last August. …

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