My new car. The modern automobile is a cyber-physical system.
Comparing the stat's of Old vs. New:
- length: Volvo: 442,5 cm, Austin Healey: 204 cm
- weight: Volvo: 2100 kg, Austin Healey: 760 kg
- horsepower: Volvo: 190, Austin Healey: 42,5
Besides the obvious difference in size and other physical characteristics, the by far biggest difference between the two vehicles is the software technology.
A cyber-physical system means that the mechanical parts are no longer manually controlled, but virtually, through software. Take, for example, the turn signal "blinker". It used to be controlled by a relay and that made a mechanical sound. Since decades the "blinker" is controlled by software and the sound you hear is comes from a sound card. Carmakers employ audio engineers to reproduce mechanical sounds inside the car since they no longer exist in reality.
A typical new car has over 100 million lines of code.* To give you some perspective, that is more code than in some enterprise management (ERP) software solutions.
The interior features a large touchscreen computer panel to regulate temperature, music and all other features and functions. In contrast to the Oldtimer, I don't even know everything this car can do.
There is an app for this car which I have on my smartphone. At first I thought, "what a gimmick, who needs that?" Little did I realize at the time how much I would end up using it.
The Volvo can get warmed up with one click from outside the vehicle without the car being "on"; in fact, you do not even need to be in sight of the vehicle. This is very practical in bitterly cold winters to defrost the windshields, warm up the motor and of course heat-up the inside of the car. I used this function often when we went cross-country skiing and of course in the mornings before going to work.
Contrast this with the experience I described with the Oldtimer where we had to drive several kilometers before the motor warmed up.
Both cars are fun to drive, but for different reasons and obviously only the Volvo is the car for everyday and every type of weather.
I had originally intended to have the Oldtimer (old) vs. an electric car (new) for these two blogs, however it proved to be too difficult and complicated to get an electric car to the exact same shooting location.
*Source: 100 million lines of code https://www.wired.com/2012/12/automotive-os-war/