Today’s cars are filled with all sorts of high-tech devices, that are supposed to provide the ultimate driving experience. Nowadays, almost all car functions are controlled and adjusted electronically, instead of manually, which is, generally speaking, more practical and convenient. You can adjust the height of your seats and open or close your car windows by pressing a button, gears can be shifted automatically, and even the engine can be started with a push of a button. This means that some things, such as knobs, shift sticks and levers will soon become obsolete, and some of those low-tech features are already extinct.
But, putting all that high-tech stuff in cars is not always a good thing. They are often a cause of driver distraction, and a lot of people find them too complicated and difficult to use. Complicated infotainment systems are one of the most common reasons for consumer dissatisfaction, which is why several car makers have started thinking about bringing back some of the old car tech features that we used to see in cars up until a couple of years ago.
Infotainment systems with touch screens is what consumers complain about the most. These modern, sophisticated systems may display information about your car’s fuel consumption, you can use them for navigation purposes, and they can be connected to a cell phone, a tablet or an MP3 player, so that you can browse and play music or video files directly through the screen mounted on your dashboard. But, as convenient as this sounds, trying to play a song, browsing through radio stations or adjusting the volume through a touch screen may be too complicated and distracting, and many people feel that using a simple knob instead is better and more practical. People have been controlling car stereos with knobs for decades, and the general feeling among car owners today is that something that used to work for so long, shouldn’t be pushed out of the way just for the sake of making cars look cooler or more sophisticated.
Another high-tech feature people have issues with is the keyless ignition system that can be found on a lot of new cars today. With this feature, you don’t have to turn a key to start the engine, which is done by pushing a button. What makes it confusing is that when you start a car with a key, you have to turn it and hold it for at least 2-3 seconds. In newer cars, that have keyless ignition systems, you have to hold the start/stop button for a couple of seconds to turn off the engine, which is pretty confusing to everyone who is accustomed to holding a key for a few seconds to start the engine. This raises some safety issues, as well, since turning off an engine takes a couple of seconds, which makes it hard to stop on a dime in situations when you have to avoid a collision.
These issues will probably make a lot of car makers consider replacing some of those high-tech features with simpler, low-tech solutions that will be less of a distraction to drivers and will be easier to use.
Author bio: Jordan Perch is an automotive fanatic and “safe driving” specialist. He is an author of many how-to articles related to safe driving, green technologies, auto insurance etc. Currently blogging for DMV.com.