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Are in-car and consumer tech becoming too needlessly smart?




The new 2020 Kia Soul GT (L), Soul X (C) and Soul Eco/electric (R) are unveiled at  AutoMobility LA, the trade show ahead of the LA Auto Show, November 28, 2018, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
The new 2020 Kia Soul GT (L), Soul X (C) and Soul Eco/electric (R) are unveiled at AutoMobility LA, the trade show ahead of the LA Auto Show, November 28, 2018, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

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The LA Auto kicks off this week, and in-car technology is apparently the big hot thing.

Larger than ever infotainment screens, Alexa-enabled voice command systems, all kinds of internet-connected features are on offer; what’s clear is that the industry is paying as much attention to the hardware as it does to the software.

Which got the AirTalk crew thinking: are consumer and in-car technologies becoming too smart -- too uselessly smart for their own good? We lamented the fact that most of us are underusing many of the tech gadgets we have in our possession, from our smartphones to our fancy new rides with all the extra bells and whistles. One reason, we figure, is that tech has become too sophisticated and packed with way too many features for your average Joe and Jane. Most of us simply don’t have the time, or the headspace, to figure out how to maximize the capabilities of these devices. We also wonder whether there’s a need for any single tech gadget to do so much.

We open up the phones in this segment to your frustrations with your smart devices. 

Guests:

Scott Evans, features editor of Motor Trend, an L.A.-based consumer magazine for the auto industry; he’s at the L.A. Auto Show in Downtown L.A.

Roger Cheng, executive editor of CNET, the tech news site; he tweets @RogerWCheng