October 23, 2013

How the Auto Industry Really Needs to Design a Family Car

Leigh thinks she knows what is missing in family vehicles these days.

Auto makers have come a long way in making travel comfortable for today’s modern families. There are third-row seats, doors that slide for easy exits, cupholders for every Disney water bottle imaginable, and DVD players that can be viewed from every seat in today’s vehicles.  At this point, a car can almost drive itself and can help a driver parallel park.

My husband keeps telling me that one day a car will drive our great-great-grandchildren to school without anyone else in the car.  That sounds divine, but that’s the FUTURE.  That little news fact doesn’t help me one bit today.

I think something extremely important is missing in today’s vehicles.  Perhaps I’m just not at the income level to own a car with this perk, but I think cars need to have soundproof partitions like the ones you see in limousines.  You know, the wealthy didn’t want “James” to hear the latest family gossip, so he got to sit up front by himself, and the conversations held behind him were not heard by his ears. 

I don’t think I will ever have a “James” to drive my kids to school in this lifetime, but I sure would love to be James so I could push one button and all the noise coming from my backseat would disappear.

My husband and I could actually hear each other when all four of us are in the car going somewhere. I perhaps could hear Mike and Linda finish a sentence on WRAL-FM, or maybe even listen to Vanna’s traffic report.

But better yet, my daily carpool commute could become a 15-minute peaceful sanctuary.

Some mornings, I think it’s going to be a good drive. I really do.

“Mom, I really love second grade!” says my son.

“That’s great, honey! Why do you like it?”

“I like what we’re learning,” he replies.

“Do you have a favorite teacher?”

“No! But drama is my favorite special.”

And then just like that … the drama in the backseat begins.

It happens so fast that I don’t even know what happened.  Chaos erupts. Unhappy cries. Jackets flinging.  High-pitched screams of “I want my Daddy!”

And, of course, not being a trained psychologist or having one bit of child education experience, not to mention clearly not enough caffeine in my body at this early hour, my voice raises.


Nothing changes.  I yell again.

The kids become louder because I’ve become louder.

Yes, my friends.

That’s when I want to push the button.

A magic button.

A button that would slowly raise a thick glass behind my head and cut me off from the chaos in the backseat.

The only thing I could hear would be Adam Levine singing a song to me.

Sigh. Finally, music to my ears!

Audi, can you make a parent’s dream come true?

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