June 16, 2012

Audi Systems

When in Japan, we use the subways and trains and sometimes bikes to get around on almost all our outings. Aya's family very generously offered use of a car.

This car:
We had no need for it, and were frankly a bit terrified of something going wrong on the very narrow residential streets, and so never used it.

However, the generous offers soon became increasingly insistent, to the point where we found the key at our table setting and, finally, on our bedside table. Part of having good manners is knowing when to accept something gracefully, so we took it out for a spin.

Jeebus.

It is loaded with stuff, of course. One of the coolest things was the back-up camera system. The yellow lines show where the car will go with the wheels at the current angle and the blue rectangle is straight back.

Putting complete faith in the camera system was more than a little off-putting, and when the proximity alerts started beeping there was a noticeable increase in heart-rate. It is amazingly intuitive, though, and worked perfectly.

It also has both a built-in and an after-market radar-detection system (circled in green in the dashboard pic, above). You might think that we wouldn't hear much from them unless a police officer pointed a speed gun at us, but that is not the case.

The Osaka Kanjo-sen highway is awash in speed radar, cameras, and all manner of radio frequencies, and these detecting systems will alert you to each with different beeps, jingles and announcements.

They will  also notify you of directions, toll booths, interchanges, off-ramps, on-ramps, merging areas, high-accident zones, changing speed limits, road conditions, traffic updates and about a million other things.

Having two competing systems in the car produced the most unreal cacophony of alerts, announcements and advisories, all playing over the enka  (sentimental ballads) on the stereo:

So where did we go in this over-powered, insanely noisy, fantastic car?
To the Leach Bar in the Rihga Royal Hotel, where they make the most amazing G&T, served in brass mugs.


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