It’s time to get ready to say bye-bye to the button. If the auto sector’s concept cars are anything to go by, the only place we’re going to find buttons is in classic collections such as the Canadian Automotive Museum (located in lovely downtown Oshawa).
There has never been a more interesting or confusing period in the evolution of the automobile. Optimism is overflowing. For instance, you can’t click on a newsfeed without finding an article trumpeting the glory that will be the self-driving car. We’re being told the new breed of automobile will do everything from whisking us painlessly to work to giving us a much-needed back rub at the end of the day.
Yet progress does not come without a price. Unintended consequences lie ahead. Take, for example, the fate of our circular friend, the button. There have been buttons in cars for as long as there have been cars. At times, these buttons have caused us grief. Think of keyless push-button starts that can lead to accidental carbon-monoxide poisoning. Most of the time, however, buttons have been helpful. You pressed a button to turn on the air-conditioning, the defroster or the radio.