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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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Cars of the future you may not see…

Good morning, Netizens...

Meanwhile on the lighter side of life, a little satire...

According to the AP news wire, you can sit back, relax and let your car parallel park itself -- without a single scratch or ding to your bumper.

That's what Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday about its new self-parking technology, which it announced will debut as an option on the 2010 Lincoln MKS sedan and the new seven-passenger Lincoln MKT luxury crossover vehicle. The technology uses ultrasonic sensors on the front and rear of the vehicle, combined with electric power steering to angle and guide it into a snug parking space -- all with the push of a button. That is if they survive the economic downturn.

I have a few ideas of better uses of automotive technology that could be used before 2010 and would be quite indigenous to Spokane. For example:

The Leaping Lincoln: This specially-equipped model comes standard with extra-heavy duty electronically-controlled coil springs designed with Spokane's wintry weather in mind. One push of the little red button on the dashboard and this sumptuous luxury model can leap even the tallest snow berm with ease. According to the engineers proclamations, such technology could even be put to use in the other seasons of the year, such as jumping potholes, for one example. On the downside, pretty soon you would have cars jumping all over the place with resulting mayhem akin to one of our City Council meetings.

The Cad-track Cadillac: Not to be outdone by Ford Motor Company, GM has already began talking up its latest Cadillac SUV, titled “The Cad-Track”, which if you can believe what you read, comes equipped with bulldozer-like tracks in lieu of the front tires. For those who demand the utmost in performance from their $160,000-plus automobiles, when driving conditions get really bad, there is even a pair of optional skis for the rear tires that automatically deploy with the push of a button. You'll never be late for work again because of deep snow. Leaping Lincolns and Cadillacs with tracks? What other madness could be bring to Spokane?

The Raspberry Chrysler, of course: For the gadget person in us all, this gadget-based Chrysler mid-sized sedan comes with all kinds of options. My personal favorite is a specially-designed computer which, among other things, detects red light cameras. If you happen to slide through a red light a bit late, it will automatically rotate your license plate to show a witty slogan or defiant saying, thus flipping the bird to the cameras. However, the finest in my opinion is the external speakers which can be programmed to sound loud raspberries whenever you drive by one of your favorite buildings or places. That would be fitting for City Hall, wouldn't it?

If I, attired only in my new bathrobe, can come up with such discredited ideas before breakfast, I am reasonably certain others may already have devised the car of the future. Have you? Share the wealth.


Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.