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2023-06-14 19:26:19

Worst Automotive Inventions - Chrysler's Electronic Voice Alert (EVA or 'Talking Car') with Bob Lutz

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Please close your driver door .

The 19 eighties were an interesting time in the automotive industry and for the buying public in general , in the US as sci fi movies and electronic gadgetry became increasingly popular .

Customers thought that they were entering the new electronic age and the age of the machine .

As such , a number of car companies tried to capitalize on this movement with a few gimmicks that exploited customers desire for more technological innovation in their vehicles .

One of the items at the top of this list was Chrysler's electronic voice alert E VA or the talking car that it was introduced in 1983 car models .

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By the time Chrysler introduced the talking car in 1983 the buying public had at least become somewhat acclimated with talking cars in part because the NBC television series Night Rider prominently featured a talking car named Kit , of course , being voiced over by a real person named William Daniels who also starred in Saint elsewhere .

At the same time , when first introduced Chrysler's talking car had only 11 spoken messages that could alert the driver and these included things like the parking brake being on low fuel washer , fluid , low headlamps being left on the key being left in the ignition door left a jar unfastened seat belts , low engine oil pressure , engine overheating and electrical system issues .

It was standard on premium front wheel drive models , including those like the Chrysler Town and Country convertible .

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The system had been developed by Chrysler's Huntsville Electronics Group and was done in partnership with Texas Instruments .

Unlike other computerized voice systems , Chrysler did actually use a professional voice announcer and then dubbed his voice at a high data rate to construct the E V's voice sounds .

This helped it sound a bit more realistic than other voices at the time .

Although it still wasn't as realistic as what Nissan used in its dotson and higher end models .

And the system itself was significantly more complicated than a voice box that just read off 11 different messages .

It also could lower the radio volume , sound tones , deliver messages and then adjust volume .

When it was done , speaking could also turn on various warning lamps associated with the messages that it was conveying .

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It was certainly a neat technological feature , but it did prove annoying to a number of customers in part because they felt that it sounded its warning tones too frequently and also thanked the customer too much for complying with them as an example , turning the headlights off after it had warned them that they were left on .

And just one year later in 1984 the system was modified and included a shut off switch in the glove compartment .

The system was also changed so that it thanked drivers less for complying with warnings .

As time went on , the system was modified to include even more commands going from 11 to 24 allowed the driver to be alerted .

In the case that brake pad wear was excessive coolant levels were low .

A headlight was off or a tail light was out .

But in general , it proved to be more of an annoyance than anything .

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And while it was in general , a cool feature that you could talk to your friends about in your Chrysler , the problem was that the underlying Kar itself really could have used more of that cost that was put into the electronic dashboards and the electronic voice alert system to make the car overall more refined .

And this would eventually be the fate of the electronic voice alert after the 1988 model year when it was sunset .

However , in between 1983 and 1988 there were a number of permutations as I mentioned of the electronic voice alert .

Chrysler , New Yorkers had the 11 function unit through 1988 and they were also the last model to offer the talking car feature , Dodge Daytona from 1984 to 1986 .

And Plymouth Lasers had both the 11 and 24 function electronic voice alert as options .

The 1987 newly introduced Chrysler Lebaron had the 24 function unit .

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And in 1988 this Labaron no longer had the voice alert but was available with a 24 function vehicle monitoring system , which was effectively the same as the electronic voice alert .

But without the speech module , one cool tidbit of information for those north of the border in Canada , is that the Chrysler Electronic voice alerts that were sold north of the border could speak both French and English .

They also had Spanish speaking modules that were used in other countries .

And while the E VA system used outputs from many existing sensors across the car to determine if the driver needed to be alerted of a condition .

There were some unique sensors that were added to 24 function E V cars .

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These included a coolant level sensor , a brake fluid level sensor , a rear light outed sensor , a low beam headlight outed sensor , a brake pad wear sensor and an engine oil level sensor .

And this was really only in 1984 only for the latter engine oil sensor .

In any case , Chrysler's Eva set up didn't last all that long and it was eventually retired from vehicles so that the cost of the electronic dash clusters and the E VA voice system could make the K cars fundamentally better as opposed to just simply having some cute gimmicks that buyers could talk about with their friends .

The system was removed by none other than Bob Lutz during his time at Chrysler and Bob recently sat down with us on rare classic cars to discuss a number of topics .

Here's an excerpt from the interview where he talks about the talking car and why he had it removed from Chrysler vehicles .

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The unnecessary cost is waste .

If the public doesn't see it , feel it , use it or appreciate it .

It's waste talking car .

That was another one of my favorites at Chrysler .

Uh First of all , the digital instrument is a jar early , early digital , which I remember that Chrysler , I think the British called it .

No , the Germans called them mouse movies .

So if you had a place in your car , they could all sit on the steering wheel rim and watch and watch the videos .

Uh , but that was $400 a car plus about another 150 for talking car .

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And , and meanwhile , the , the K cars and their derivatives could stand a lot of additional goodness like , um , noise , vibration and harshness , fixes and so forth and near 650 bucks into something that people absolutely hated and did no good whatsoever .

So , you know , I was the guy I took out talking car , took out the digital instrument display , put in BMW style instruments , you know , big tack and speedometer with four little subsidiary instruments .

Everybody liked it better and nobody had to be , nobody needed a voice reminder that their car door was open .

I really like that .

You know , your fuel is low , your door is a jar , you know .

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Well , the guys that I think it was a , a current driver had a Chrysler with talking car and they had figured out that by activating different things in a certain sequence , they could get the car to say thank you several times in succession .

And they finally had a routine where they could get the car to say Thank you .

Thank you .

Thank you .

Thank you 22 times .

Let's close out the video with hearing the electronic voice alert or E VA in action .

Please close your driver door .

Your engine oil pressure is critical .

Engine damage may occur .

Your engine temperature is above normal .

Please check your engine coolant level .

Please check your fuel level .

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Your charging system is malfunctioning prompt service is required .

Please check your brake fluid level .

Please check your disc brake pads .

Your washer fluid is low .

Please check your headlamps .

Please check your brake lamps .

Please check your tail lamps .

Your parking brake is on your keys are in the ignition .

Your head lamps are on .


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