Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Gaithersburg, MD
Your comment is interesting to me as I am also in IT - but my view is completely different. I am very happy driving my 2011 VW Jetta Sportwagen Diesel. It lets me get 40 - 47 MPG just like my versys by doing things that were not possible if it didn't have a computer. I love the fact that it has so many sensors and the computer spits out a code when something goes wrong. I don't have to disassemble half the engine to find out why the car is not running right. It also stops itself from completely self destructing if it senses something is terribly wrong (limp mode). It is sometimes wrong, but most of the time, it saves me time and money. The reliability of computer cirtcuit is also exteremely good. I would say 99% or more make it to the end of the car's life - that is if you don't muck around with it too much. They are expensive for sure, but not finicky (generally speaking).
In contrast, I fly a 1977 Cessna Cardinal that has magnitos, carborator and no sensors. I landed at Buffalo, NY because the engine was running rough - I had no clue why it was doing that and how long the engine is going to be alive. Took it to a mechanic after landing, he took out the magnitos put them on a bench and tested it - that wasn't it. He took out the sprak plugs (all eight) and found one bottom plug was fauled with a lead arc across it. If I had a computer that monitored the engine, he would have gone directly to the bottom cylinder 4 plug, pulled it out and put another one in and I would be back in business. So I went out and bought a nice electronic engine monitor that tells me what the cylinder head temp is, what the EGT is how much fuel I am burnig at any given time, etc.
My brother-in-law has a PhD in Physics and is really afraid to go flying with me. Yet I trust Bernoulli and Newton to go fly - and he knows their work much more in depth than I do.