I engage in a lot of outdoor activities. Biking (obviously), canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding, etc.
Many of these activities require equipment.
Much of this equipment requires transport.
Transport often requires a car.
I’ve spent many fond hours in car dealerships, looking at vehicles and picking out the one that I’m going to spend the next ___ year(s) with. Seriously. Perhaps too many hours. And car manufacturers always have nifty pictures of their vehicles being used to transport sporting equipment. Roof racks, hitch racks, etc.
Here’s what I want: a car that accomodates sporting equipment, with integrated locks. Here’s what I’m picturing:
- Car comes pre-wired with a connector at the rear end (by the hitch/trunk/hatch, whatever), and with a hidden connector on the roof, by the roof rack.
- Car is available with matching accessory racks that have built-in, electronic locks.
- Locks on the accessory racks are spring-loaded, normally locked…like a padlock.
- You put rack on car, and plug a cord from the rack into the car.
- When you unlock the car, it unlocks the rack. When you lock the car, or if you unplug the rack, the rack automatically locks.
That’s it. Pretty simple concept. It doesn’t have to be tricky. Have a uniform wiring connector (like trailer hitch connectors) that all manufacturers use.
Is that too complicated? Alright. How about if the rack manufacturers build racks that have integrated electronic locking (as outlined above), and they leave it up to the consumer to wire them in? I had a Dodge Pickup at one time that I installed an electronic tailgate lock on, that locked and unlocked with the power door locks. It worked like a charm. The wiring isn’t hard…and if it is too hard for you, go to an auto accessory shop and have them wire it for you.
Still too complicated? Ok. How about racks and accessories that lock off of the vehicle’s key? Something that you can have re-keyed to match the door/ignition key for your vehicle. It doesn’t have to be electronic–it can just be a lock that takes an automotive key, and you get it keyed to match your car.
Combination locks aren’t terribly secure. Having to carry 5 different keys to be able to lock the various toys that you may bring on a given trip is a PITA. VW, Subaru and other automakers cater to a marketplace of people like me who are active and who use their cars to transport sports equipment All The Time. (TM) Why can’t they make our lives just a little bit easier?