Technology was alive and well at the Frankfurt motor show.
There were enough new gadgets to please just about anyone, and suppliers had plenty of inventions that will thrill every automotive engineer on the planet.
And that could be a problem.
I've never been against making the automobile smarter and enabling it to perform more tasks. In fact, if we didn't have the computer, we'd all be in a pickle and nothing would work properly.
The computer has enabled the automobile industry to meet constantly higher emissions standards and higher gas mileage requirements and to build safer cars and trucks. Little computers can process data at tremendous speed and make whatever changes are necessary to keep everything running smoothly.
But there is a terrible tendency to overload the car and the driver. We keep thinking we will attract more customers with more features. It doesn't seem to matter that we are overloading the electrical and computing systems and maybe even the driver.
There is the obvious problem of having systems that are filled to overcapacity. It is becoming difficult to allow enough time to validate electrical systems.
As the technology time cycle shrinks, it's a race to see whether you can test a system adequately before it goes into a vehicle - not to mention the possibility of it being obsolete a month after it goes on sale.
It might make sense to follow the lead of Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes eliminated hundreds of features from its cars, features that no one had asked for.
Today, if you read your owner's manual, you discover features that you don't need or want. They are part of larger systems that just might be stretching the computer capability of the typical vehicle.
Every feature, regardless of its insignificance, takes up space in the system.
I doubt that we'll ever see a car so intuitive that it doesn't need an owner's manual because the systems are so simple that they are obvious - and there are no extraneous systems.
It's probably too much to ask for a simple car, a car full of features that the owner wants and is able to execute because they are so logical - nothing extra just for the sake of complexity.
Not so basic as a Model T, but not quite like the Discovery Space Shuttle, either.