Have you ever been driving in your car and smelled burning rubber, oil or insulation? Have you tried to figure out if the odor coming from your car or the world outside? Did you have to decide whether to get off the road and find your fire extinguisher, or roll your windows up and drive faster?
it happened to me just now, and I think the smell was coming from outside the car. I rolled the windows down and things smelled worse, then better as I kept going, and I got home without smelling anything else. But before I got here, I imagined an Inside and Outside Car Smell Comparator.
The comparator will have an air intake on top of the hood ornament or the roof, and another inside the passenger compartment. The two air ducts will lead to a battery of smoke and chemical detectors, and a gas chromatograph in the deluxe model. The two air samples will be compared, the data processed, and the results fed to a display.
If the detectors are numerous, and the microprocessor powerful, the display could be a screen that shows a variety of informative icons. A smoking factory, a garbage can or a clunker belching smoke would indicate that the smell came from outside your car, while trouble inside your car could be shown by pictures of a shaking engine, a fire extinguisher, or your Uncle Fred eating a burrito.