Modern cars sure are becoming fancy. They have touchscreens, parking assistance, and some even drive themselves. Heck, it probably won’t be long before you can play at Mummys Gold casino online or on your mobile while your self-driving car gets you from A to B. Oh, what glorious technology.
But, as is common with the tech industry, someone always goes a little overboard in adding bells and whistles. We suspect it has to do with one poor designer being paid per feature that he comes up with, and so eventually he has to scrape the bottom of the barrel. The result is features that are the equivalent of 8K resolutions on televisions, which is the sort of thing someone comes up with before checking if anyone was particularly blown away by 4K. Spoiler; they weren’t.
Car features have undergone the same treatment, giving us a suite of silly, mostly annoying additions that are far more a pain in the backside than helpful.
Paddle Shifters In Automatics
With an automatic vehicle the biggest selling point is surely that it changes its own gears? Hey, but wait, what if we put a paddle on the steering wheel that can be flicked to change gears? Yes, in an automatic car that changes gears by itself. No, the car will still change gear even if you don’t flick the paddle. Why have it at all then? It certainly doesn’t add to the aesthetics, and it may well be one more thing that could break and need fixing, even though it is completely redundant.
Seriously, it’s beyond silly.
Digital Gear Knob
That poor designer who gets paid per feature must have climbed into a car and looked around for something that had not yet been made digital. Then he spotted it, the gear knob, and knew he had struck gold. Yes, why not take something that worked perfectly well before and add an enormously unnecessary extra layer to it. Consensus is that not only are the new wave of digital gear shifters imprecise and finicky, but the most wasted effort ever, trying to modernise what never needed modernising.
Now we’ll give it to car manufacturers in this department. It is very tricky coming up with control systems that demand you only take your hands off the wheel for the least time possible, when interacting with on-board systems. But we’re just going to come out and say it; touchscreens suck. They are imprecise, annoying, and the text conversations on our phones riddled with laughable spelling errors are testimony to that fact. Hey, here’s an idea. Why not put a touchscreen in a car, instead of, you know, knobs and buttons that never misunderstand you?
Touchscreen Air Vent Controls
What, you want to control your air vents with a little lever, like millions have done for decades? You hush your mouth. The design feature guy is here and he says levers are for cavemen. Instead, you get a touchscreen air vent control system, requiring you to select the correct submenu, and then slide your finger over a flat surface, to control airflow. What, the extra steps involved make it ten times more complicated than it once was? Come now, do you want the feature design guy to get paid or not?
Feature design guy heard your complaints about touchscreens and so removed them entirely. Gesture controls require not a single touch of a single screen to operate. Only, good luck getting them to work. At best, the drivers beside you will think you have either lost your mind, are fighting with an invisible insect, or are a practicing mime. Rather use the touchscreen, right?
Automatic Car Doors
Ever entered a fancy hotel that has a doorman who has the sole purpose of opening the door for you? It’s a nice touch, but a little unnecessary too. Well, imagine the doorman now lives inside your car. Automatic doors that open are a rather useless invention, but perhaps one of the least annoying on this list if you have your hands full and need to get inside. Just hope that they don’t open at random if they malfunction…
Motorised Seat Belts
If you think automatic car doors are strange and unnecessary, how about automatic or motorised seatbelts? Plus, they’re really slow and awkward when in motion, forcing you to sit quietly while they move over your body and click into place. Insanely wasted effort, you want to say out loud, but are afraid of hurting feature design guy’s feelings? Yes, we know.
Back Seat Screens
Finally, we have a feature that was, to be fair, probably pretty cool when it came out. Screens in the back to entertain passengers. Pretty cool. Though, with the invention of tablets and smartphones they are now just about the most useless things ever, and not even remotely worth the extra costs. But hey; who knew portable little screens were just around the corner?