Spoof technology has provided a rich vein of creativity for automotive April Fool jokes over the years – from balsawood ignition keys (an Audi weight-saving development) to in-car hunger monitoring (an Infiniti road safety innovation) to Canine Repellant Alloy Protection (which kept dogs away from BMW wheels).
There was no shortage of automotive foolery this year, what with BMW unveiling both a Royal Wedding special edition M3 and an M3 pick-up, Goodwood resurfacing its hill with bricks to welcome some classic Indycars, and F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg tattooing a sponsor logo onto his forearm.
Plus, the following tech-themed treats for connossieurs of unlikely automotive innovation:
Land Rover's self-levelling tax disc holder
Land Rover solves the problem of its go-anywhere vehicles displaying their tax discs at an angle, which they claim is outlawed under new regulations, with a tax disc holder that always stays upright. The chief engineer who introduces this new innovation (above) was name Joe King. Oddly, wasn'y invited to that press conference.
Actually, Joe King aside, I can see these catching on...
Wind turbines extend EV range
According to headlineauto.co.uk, scientists at the Alternative Power Research Institute Laboratories in Toro Mierda, Mexico have fitted three 420mm wind turbines to the front of an electric car. These are said to generate electricity which recharges the EV's batteries. The untidy front styling was said to be the main barrier to the system's adoption by a manufacturer, and there was claimed to be a "1/4 chance of making it into production."
Kia recruits local pigeon fanciers to keep forecourts feather - and worse - free
Kia revealed that it was working with pigeon fanciers to turn dealer forecourts into bird-free zones, which might not really be a tech-y story but it's inventive enough to be worth us mentioning.
Anyway, the point of this exercise was apparently to avoid any problems with avian, erm, emissions which were soiling parked cars. The pigeon expert involved in the project was claimed to be one Joe Kerr...
SEAT's SMART navigation
The SEAT Media Audio Recognition Technology (SMART) was claimed to use "state-of-the-art GPS plotting" and "revolutionary Automatic Regional Speech Equivalence software" to identify the car's location and tailor navigation instructions accordingly. "So, for instance, a driver navigating his way through East London might be treated to the following soundbite by the SMART system: ‘Awright geezer, it's straight on at these lights, innit?'"
Autoglass invents self-healing glass for mobile phones
The windscreen repair company claims to have found a new market since it got involved with Twitter and Facebook. It has developed a new surface coating for mobile phone screens, called "Pro-Fill SOA (Self-Optimising Adhesive)" which, according to pocket-lint.com, "turns to liquid on impact. It then fills the gaps and reseals the crack instantly."
But someone always goes too far, and this time it was BMW with yet another April 1 release, this time pictures of an M3 concept with naff blacked-out windows, dark grille and black alloys. So grim it was obviously another April Fool joke. Wasn't it?