The first full month of spring is well known to start with a day consisting of physical jokes and overall deception. April Fools’ Day 2014 produced a several hilarious moments designed to make us believe outright nonsense. This year, several members of the auto industry were involved in perpetrating their own surreal news reports.
Last year’s April Fools’ automotive trickery revolved around a wild Scion FR-S with an exhaustingly long nameplate. This April 1st, it was largely the European auto companies delivering some whopper zany news stories. While automakers are not immediately disclosing their press releases are specifically an April Fools’ Day joke, there are usually a few hints. First, why is it that several car companies are choosing to announce some rather creative innovations on a single day? Secondly, why would they suddenly publish a far-out idea on a day synonymous with jokes?
The following are some examples of the wackiness published about the auto industry during April Fools’ Day of 2014:
MINI Cooper T
Can tea time be driving time this April Fools’ Day? Small car brand MINI has apparently devised a new form of alternative power that could possibly replace gasoline, diesel and electric power. The MINI Cooper T runs on tea-leaf biofuel. According to MINI, the Cooper T will be able to travel 40 miles on a single cup of tea. The MINI Cooper T boasts a unique Dunk Avoidance Technology in addition to anti-lock brakes and the vehicle’s dynamic stability control. The continuous use of tea puns such as Dr. Ivana Kuppa saying, “This particular project has been brewing for years.” is a bit of a giveaway to the seriousness of the technology.
Build-it-Yourself Honda Fit
Automakers are always trying to reduce manufacturing costs with hopes of decreasing their bottom line and keeping cars affordable for the consumer. On April 1st, American Honda Motor Company began beta-testing new option allowing 2015 Fit buyers to purchase their new subcompact car with some assembly required. Delivered using a drone, all 200,000 mechanical pieces of the 2015 Honda Fit is provided to the customer. Apparently, Honda is promptly attempting to best Amazon in the use of this unique form of automated home courier. At home or wherever an owner has room to begin assembly of their Honda Fit, the process of assembling a car is handled through the guidance of a DVD and a detailed instruction manual. For customers preferring the ready-made vehicle, the 2015 Honda Fit goes on sale this month.
Peugeot’s Car Horn Audio Sonic Personalization Program
The car horn is a misunderstand and misused piece of technology found on automobiles for decades. The low-tech safety feature is quickly being replaced by a future where vehicles can communicate with each other. Car horns lack the personalized tone some drivers may need to effectively announce their presence to others. Modernizing the car horn, Peugeot is committing to include Audio Sonic technology into every vehicle as of July 2014 including the all-new 308. Through a smartphone, drivers can upload any sound they may desire to the vehicle creating an individualized horn sound.
BMW Force Injection Booster
It seems BMW Group had the most fun this April 1st. Already illustrating the quirkiness demonstrated by MINI, would you think premium car brand BMW has the humour to share a joke? It is worth recalling this same auto company created a quasi-April Fools’ Joke in 2011 with the BMW M3 pickup truck.
For 2014, BMW has created an all-new g-force simulating technology designed to present occupants with a sensation of speed. At speeds under 20 miles per hour, BMW’s Force Injection Booster technology draws kinetic energy from the engine and delivers it positive g-force through the air conditioning system. In addition, a mild electrical current is sent through the front seats at high speeds. The Force Injection Booster technology is coupled with BMW AirNet designed for hair protection. BMW has pledged to make this technology available across their vehicle range. Who else expects the wind blowing is just a bunch of hot air from BMW?
April 1st is a day that has gone to the dogs with an announcement from Volkswagen. In partnership with the RSPCA in the United Kingdom, a trio of rescue dogs have been taught to drive a four-wheel drive Amarok pickup truck. Under the guidance of a human instructor, dogs named Tulip, Jacob and Harry apparently succeeded in driving the Volkswagen with a specially modified cockpit. With some drivers unwilling to trust the judgement of a computer through autonomous driving, is there any likelihood they would more trust their canine best friends with driving duties?
Though the seriousness of dogs driving a vehicle in a practical sense is a matter to take lightly, the press release is offering some truthful advice to protecting dogs. Care advice includes outfitting your vehicle with a car harness for the canine’s safety and being sure not to leave your dog alone in a hot car.
Information, photo and video source: BMW Group, American Honda Motor Company, PSA Peugeot Citroen, VW Group