6 Disappearing Car Features

Discussion in 'General' started by JohnM, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. JohnM

    JohnM Well-Known Member

  2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    The CD player is beginning to disappear: so you could say they're eliminating motors from the stereo.
  3. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    What replaces the handbrake?

    I'm all for a volume knob - the buttons are at once too slow and too fast, and a knob is far better.
  4. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    There are people who want new tech, whether it's better or not.
    There are people who cling to old tech, whether it's better or not.
    I say use whatever's best (or best for the $$), whether it's old or new.
  5. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I like knobs.
  6. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    Tech is nice, but when manufacturers replace radio and climate controls on touch screens that require the user to take their eyes off the road... I'm not pleased. A knob can be felt, and manipulated without taking one's eyes from the road. Touchscreens require the user to not pay attention to the road.
  7. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    This. A thousand times.

    My old car had the climate control backlight burned out. No need to replace it. I could operate at night just as well because of... knobs and switches! Keep it simple. Keep your eyes on the road.
  8. aca2983

    aca2983 Well-Known Member

    I don't consider myself a Ludditte, but I'm not fond of the touchscreen trend, and much prefer knobs for the most commonly used features.
  9. ILAveo

    ILAveo Well-Known Member

    Hand crank windows aren't disappearing any time soon. I've never seen any maker's "work truck" package with power windows. Fleet truck buyers won't pay for them.
  10. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    I've seen Chevys in the WT trim with power windows, I think it is optional on WT series trucks, and most corporate buyers don't spring for it. When I purchased my K1500, I had looked at a truck in the WT trim. Vinyl seats, vinyl floor, cruise, a/c, and power windows. I was turned off by it not having power locks. I can live without power windows, but I need power locks, a/c, and cruise.

    When I worked for the Gov't we had a 94 C2500 in the WT trim. Only thing it had was a/c. Didn't even have a radio. We used to keep a 3 ft pole in the truck. Get in the truck, and use the pole to unlock the passenger door. Either that, or unlock the driver's door, and throw the keys over the roof, passenger lets themselves in, then hands you the keys. Life is so much simpler with power locks.
  11. ILAveo

    ILAveo Well-Known Member

    It's even simpler when you don't lock the doors. Valuables are locked in the toolbox(es) and nobody steals AM/FM radios anymore.
  12. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    My 1981 Volvo had the best AC control I ever saw and the worst radio placement ever. :p

    The AC control was a knob that the farther you turned it clock wise the colder it got. :)
    It was located to the left of the red hazard light and right of the two rocker switches.

    The radio was on top of the transmission hump behind the shifter. :rolleyes: Yep some design engineer back in the day needed bitch slapped for that one.

    Last edited: Jul 8, 2013
  13. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    Yeah, but being a Gov't pickup truck, and the fact that we kept a drop safe behind the seat, we had to keep it locked.
  14. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Honda had a great layout in the S2000. Buttons and switches on the dashboard just beyond the steering wheel. Left hand had radio controls, with an up-down toggle for volume. Left hand had AC controls, with an up-down toggle for fan speed. Not only do you not have to look away, you don't have to take your hands off the wheel.

  15. Johosophat

    Johosophat New Member

    Even though I drive a Prius, I'd miss stick shift cars if they start going away, it's just so much more fun to drive!
  16. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    The problem is the perception that buttons are somehow more "high-tech" than knobs. The fact that so many people are impressed by touchscreens (in a moving vehicle!) and grids of buttons is just sad. As an IT professional I would consider an interface to have advanced technology if it had decent ergonomics, reflecting an effort on the part of designers to consider how real people actually use their devices and make them easy to use. Making the complicated seem simple is what constitutes advanced technology.

    And MyFord Touch has lousy ergonomics. There's a ton of features available through systems like this, but some so-called "designers" seem to forget to make sure that when they add new features, they need to not make the more important, existing features (like tuning, volume) HARDER to access. I rented a Focus with MFT last year, and it was awful.

    Honestly Ford, it would only take a handful of decent UI designers on staff to get this right -- and save lives. Unfortunately we'll never know how many people have been killed by drivers distracted by MyFord Touch, but I'm sure it's not zero.

    And boy, what an odd intro to an even odder article cobbling together several non-trends:
    • Manual transmissions. Ok, true, but not exactly a news story anymore.
    • Keys. OK, maybe that one is real too, though I don't expect to see them disappear from the base models at my end of the market for a few more years.
    • Hand crank windows. Still found on strippers, as they always have been -- and if anything they appear to be making a comeback. A couple years ago it seemed to me many economy cars were moving towards making PW+PDL standard, but now hand cranks seem to be making a comeback as an enticement to get people to upgrade. I'm noticing several automakers (e.g., Ford) now have power locks but NOT windows on their base B-class car, presumably because a lot of youthful buyers will want power windows; meanwhile, they have power windows but NOT locks on the base model of their C-class, because their more family-oriented demographic (i.e., ME) really needs the power locks with kids getting in and out of the car all the time.
    • Antennas. Uh, by the article's own admission they are still there. Just not as long as they used to be.
    • Handbrakes: "you no longer need handbrakes to hold a car on an incline" ... that's not the main reason cars have handbrakes. Even AT cars have had them for decades. I have yet to hear of them going away except to be replaced by the horrible 1960s style footbrakes on Priuses and other Toyota models with idiotic POWER buttons and joystick shifters.
    • Bias-Ply tires. Not "disappearing." Try disappeared, like 20 years ago. Too late for this article.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2013
  17. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, making the simple complicated to use is commonly perceived as advanced technology.

    I hope crank windows make a comeback. I resent being forced to pay for the inconvenience of power ones. Why don't houses have power windows?

    Bias-ply tires disappeared from nearly all new cars like 30+ years ago. By 1980, only the bottom "stripper" trim level of "economy" cars came with bias tires.
  18. basjoos

    basjoos Well-Known Member

    Another feature that disappeared on cars 20+ years ago and that I sorely miss on modern cars, especially when driving out of a parking lot on a hot day, are the gales of fresh air delivered by wing windows, front scoop vents, and floor kick vents that used to be standard issue on cars built prior to the 80's. As long as the car was moving, you got a continuous flow of outside air without the use of a fan motor. This feature dates back to before A/C became common on cars as a way to keep the interiors livable without A/C, but would still be very useful today as a means to clear out the accumulated hot air from a car that has been sitting in the parking lot for hours with a windows up. If modern cars had this feature, on many days you wouldn't have to use your A/C as much. Even with the fan speed set on max, a modern car's vents don't come even close to delivering the volumes of air that was delivered by the outside air vents of an older car.
  19. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    I agree - the "fresh" air vent on my xA pushes warmer air that has been mixed with air from the engine compartment. It sucks to have no way to have truly fresh air come into the car.
  20. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    Right about the kick-panel vents! Cars from 70s to the present are much more uncomfortable without air conditioning on a hot sunny day than earlier vehicles, not only because of inadequate ventilation, but also excessive glass area. That was obvious when I rode my brother's (formerly our parents') "cool" 1966 F-100 again a few years ago.

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