With the advent of all the car technology: self parking, snooze driving, etc. I think what car manufacturers should focus on next is driving metrics. Generate a daily report (resets to “new driving period” after 5-6 hrs of non-activity) that shows how often I changed lanes or turned without a turn signal, how many times I downshifted, calculate my average in-city mileage speed, etc. Give me a report card on my driving so I can improve my personal driving performance and my car’s performance. Also, if I so choose, I could send my report to the insurance companies on a monthly basis (or quarterly basis) to actually “prove” I’m a safe driver and pay less. [Side note: I wonder, how do the insurance companies calculate safe driver discounts? Just because you're not directly involved in an accident doesn't prove you're a safe driver or that you didn't cause any accidents. Also, I’m not sure why metrics like “home owner” qualify drivers for discounts; there has to be a correlation between reckless home buyers (think recent housing bubble history) and reckless drivers right?]
Anyway, the other reason I suggest this is simply because I was intensely pissed yesterday because I counted no less than five different drivers yesterday that made turns without their turn signal. So yes, my necessity is the mother of this invention.
(Update: it appears Progressive launched just a device!)
So, what else?
During my brief stint as an adjunct professor many years ago, I recall that half of my students had dreams of one day starting their own business. One of my favorite parts of the teaching night was when I presented a random idea and asked the students to put on the brainstorm lens - "what else could you do with this...". Most of the time we would end up in the realm of the zany. Sometimes, however, we would actually land on something achievable and plant the seed. This is an homage to ideas - zany or otherwise.