The Prudent Prius

Satire for the petrol-inclined

  • Shane Kowalski

“Hangry Mode” proposed for vehicles requiring refueling

Updated: Mar 27, 2019

-Detroit Michigan

The “Preventative Maintenance Solutions” commission, have been making headway in what it calls “Cranky Technology”. A joint effort of both legislators and automakers were alerted to a trend in our industry, "neglect", and tasked to provide solutions.

While great efforts have been engineered to help the driver talk and communicate their needs to the vehicle, no one has really stepped back and thought, what does the car need? Vehicles have been known to give subtle hints of maintenance and repair, however studies show a much more drastic communication measure is required. This led to the birth of “Cranky Technology”, starting with it's first roll out "Hangry Mode".

"We’ve started with something simple, refueling and recharging. Many don’t realize how many “breakdowns” can be prevented by simply refueling when needed. As the vehicle gets dangerously low on fuel, “Hangry Mode” protocols take over to prevent a “breakdown"".

So how does it work? Though still in development, our interview with the lead engineer did provide some details.

“Say your running your vehicle dangerously low on fuel or charge. We started with general glitchy and unpredictable behavior from the vehicle. First we enhanced every operation of the vehicle to be overly sensitive, from radio controls to steering inputs. As fuel levels get closer to a “breakdown”, we programmed the navigation to command, “Pick anywhere, I don’t care!” while displaying HUNDREDS of refueling centers simultaneously, only later to chastised the owner for not choosing it’s preferred location. Our attempt is to refuel the vehicle as quickly as possible, while also training the owner to take initiative and responsibility to avoid this situation in the first place, which can be dangerous for all of us.”

Other "Cranky Tech" innovations include “Silent Treatment” where the radio is inoperable, “Frigid Mode” where Air Conditioning and Cooled seats turn onto unbearable temperatures, as well as “Chatterbox and I Told You So” mode, where Navigation and Radio combine to not only annoy the driver into submission, but continually bring up previously passed fueling centers, potentially from years ago.

With repeated behaviors or extreme measures of neglect, “Lock Out” mode can even be implemented. In “Lock Out” mode, the driver has no access to the vehicle, all doors are LOCKED and CLOSED preventing entry. In this case, a dealership technician will be called in to handle the problem. “The last thing a driver wants is for someone else arriving to give attention and maintain what was initially his responsibility, especially with his neighbors or coworkers knowing. This can be a humiliating circumstance, one in which our hopes is to encourage the driver to straighten up, pay more attention, or risk losing access for good.”

“When a vehicle has a “breakdown” in our bustling society, it puts a strain on the complete infrastructure. Everyone around the vicinity of the “breakdown” is in danger, stressed and annoyed at best, it’s not pretty. A required “Hangry Mode” we feel, will train motorist to take a more proactive approach.”

But how easy is it to deactivate?

“In an attempt to increase sensitivity for drivers long term, once “Hangry Mode” is activated, a simply refueling won’t completely deactivate. Symptoms will subside, but further attention is required. We’ve allowed for “Hangry Mode” to completely deactivate after trip to the Car Wash and Detail Shop for some polish. If the owner goes above and beyond with Seat Shampoo, messaging Leather Treatment and so on, the “Hangry Mode” will not only deactivate, but we’ve programmed the car to even enhance driving experience in many ways”

“Our goal with "Cranky Tech" isn't for drivers hate their cars or walk away and trade their vehicles in for a new model. That’s not it at all, and in the end won’t solve the problem. We’re just trying to bring awareness to the wants and needs of our automobiles. Neglect is running rampant, and with these few changes, we feel it’s a win win for owners and vehicles combined.”

When pressed for inspiration of this new technology, engineers refused to comment.

Implementation is scheduled to begin April 1st 2020.

The article has been written for satirical purposes and is not meant to represent the actual views of the parties mentioned therein.

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