More useless technology

I wrote a post a while back on how some features in cars that can be rather silly. But in recent years, and more than ever, car manufacturers are trying to jam pack their cars with all sorts of gimmicks and gadgets that aim to make them more saleable, though not always better.

Automatic windscreen wipers

How thick and lazy do you have to be to need this feature? Automatic headlights and mirror dimming technology is clever, since it’s they’re proper safety features, but if you can’t see forwards because your windscreen has a layer of some mysterious water falling from the sky, and you don’t feel like slightly moving your fingers to turn the wipers on, you sure as heck shouldn’t be doing something as labour-intensive as driving.

Parking sensors on a Smart car
This is bewildering. To park a Smart, you look over your shoulder and see everything necessary not to hit whatever is behind you. If you still think you need parking aids, you probably need them on your arse too.

Keyless unlocking devices

One of my sister’s friends had a Renault that had a card instead of a key. It unlocked the car when in close proximity, and you inserted it into the dashboard to start the car up. Nowadays, keyless systems allow you to never remove the key from your pocket to either start the engine or lock it. The obvious downside to this is when you first get the car, you’ll probably get out, walk away, then turn back to see if the car is properly locked, and then lo and behold, it unlocks again. Annoying. Then you’ll probably get used to it, and simply walk out the car and not even glance back as the doors go “click”. A day will come when you’ll put the key in some cubby hole because it was too cumbersome to keep in your pocket while driving, and then exit the vehicle and go shopping before you realise you don’t have the all-important object that allows you to turn your ride into a functional object, and you’ll return to the parking spot and find street thugs have taken it for a spin.

Car stereos with a remote control

What’s that? My passengers dictating what music plays in MY car? I don’t think so.

In-car touchscreen interfaces

It’s strictly forbidden to talk or text on your cellphone while driving. It makes sense, because it’s more than proven that it’s extremely distracting and dangerous. But it’s legal for car-makers to give drivers a huge touchscreen in the centre console (i.e., far from your line of sight when driving), which forces us to fumble through sub-menus and settings for sat-nav, radio, heating, etc.. There isn’t a more insane, badly thought-out recent in-car feature than this. When corpses start piling up from this blatant driving distraction, will the bureaucrats have the balls to forbid this stupid invention?


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