Dying auto features and why we need to keep them

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Gazpacho, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. Gazpacho

    Gazpacho Well-Known Member

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    The Michael Hastings death has led to the revelation that our cars can be hacked remotely. At the same time, this CNN article details 11 car features that are becoming obsolete.

    After reading the articles on the same day, I've decided to keep my stick shift until past its dying day and maybe even stock up on another one.

    If my car suddenly accelerates, I want to be able to step on the clutch and shift it to neutral rather than hoping that the computers will let me shift it there and then obey if I get it into the neutral position. I want a handbrake rather than relying on a computer to do the same thing.

    And I don't want the other on the road "driving" while putting on their makeup, shaving :eek:, or texting.

    Can driving a stick be annoying? Hell yes! But with cars essentially being driven by computers these days, I have to think that cars are getting safer, but driving is not.
     
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  2. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Vera

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    Safe driving depends more on the driver than on the car. JMO
     
  3. misskarne

    misskarne #408

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    I've long sworn that all these stupid features like ABS, super-dooper-traction-control, collision sensor, auto-park, blah blah blah are actually making driving MORE dangerous because they are removing the skill aspect. Kids are not being taught skills that could save their lives. One of the teenagers at work arrived pale-faced because he'd just spun his car in the wet. He was busy telling me that it got loose and started sliding around the corner. I asked him what he did next. "I hit the brakes, duh!" He had no idea that what he'd done was actually the worst thing to do. Then he kept saying, "I don't understand why the traction control didn't save me!" *facepalm*
     
  4. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    That's the fault of the parents and/or driver's ed instructors that did not teach him well.

    Three kids in a nearby community were killed in a 1966 car recently. It was a 16th b-day gift from the driver's grandfather and he was taught to drive in it. He learned without all of those things and still fell prey to stupid teenage driving. So I don't know how we can say that modern cars are the problem.
     
  5. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    The ones I'd miss most in that article are keys and an emergency break.
     
  6. Grannyfan

    Grannyfan Active Member

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    I'm still mourning the moving of the dimmer switch off the floor. It took me a looooong time to get used to that change.
     
  7. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    My parents have a vehicle that has the button you push to start the vehicle. I hate it. It is the oddest feeling ever to get out of the car after driving it and not have any keys to grab. I don't think I could ever get used to it.
     
  8. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    The things I hate most about modern vehicles is the side mirror which is meant to cover the blind spot. Having driven a few hire vehicles with them really bugs me. Vehicles appear so much further away than what they really are which distorts perception. Also people get a false sense of security thinking they can drive without doing headchecks.

    From the list - hey I like wind down windows. I have the control over the window. And I would be very sad if the manual transmission was ever to die. Give me a manual any day. And space saver spare tyres are just stupid. They actually cause more problems than the space they save, eg poor vehicle handling, you can only go up to a certain speed on them.
     
  9. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    Why don't we just have horse and buggies?
     
  10. jamesy

    jamesy wind up merchant

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    I can't wait for kids of the future to mock our dependence on keys.
     
  11. Gazpacho

    Gazpacho Well-Known Member

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    Most adults don't have those skills either, I would argue. Most likely, they were taught in driver's ed class, but it takes real situations for you to really learn it, and thankfully, real situations are rare. In addition, when you're in panic mode, you may forget what you're supposed to do.

    I know I was taught how to handle hydroplaning in driver's ed class and we watched a video on it, but the first time it happened, I totally blanked.

    By the way, your statement that hitting the brakes is the worst thing is misleading. From what I remember, you shouldn't slam the brakes, but you should continuously pump them, no?

    I've had a couple rental cars like that. My least favorite thing is that the fobs are so bulky and don't fit in your pocket.

    I didn't see a low battery signal on the fobs either. So how do you know that your fob is about to die? The fobs also cost a ton to get a spare.

    I actually like those. You can't always do head checks if the rear windows are blocked.

    I'd like a wind down window on my side, but if you want to open the other side, then you need power windows.

    I wouldn't personally say that I'd take a manual any day. They are soooo annoying in stop and go traffic. But reading the articles has made me appreciate my stick shift in a way I hadn't previously considered.

    With the tires, some cars are going without them entirely! I was considering the Hyundai Elantra until I learned that it has no spare tire, not even a donut tire.

    Why do you think it was "stupid teenage driving"? It's much more about inexperience than stupidity.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2013
  12. skatefan

    skatefan Well-Known Member

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    :lol: I have two cars and the annoying one is the automatic but it is an older car (18 years) which I imported from Japan and the majority of them were produced as automatic specifically for the Japanese market. If I had the knowhow I would convert it to a manual. I LURVE manual cars and would never have my main car as an auto. (The other car is for car shows mainly.) Are these figures US only? In the UK I would say that the vast majority are manual (and I am the only person I know who has an auto) and I can't see it dying out because of the sheer fun of driving a manual vehicle. You can't feel the gears and the engine in an automatic :shuffle:

    My first car was an Austin Healey Sprite with a pull out choke and non-synchromesh gear box. That was fun. Had to double de-clutch through the gears ... a bit dodgy at crossroads on the steep hills around here when the gear change had to be very quick :lol: but fun :)

    I guess, in a way, that it's like many things these days which are meant to be 'new improved versions' with multiple options. And multiple ways for things to go wrong.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2013
  13. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    When teenagers die in accidents, it's often because they're driving too fast. My dad keeps giving me lectures about not doing that, but I'm not stupid enough to go 100mph in a residential area. Or text while driving. Even when I was a teenage driver. But many teenagers DO do stupid shit like that, and all the driving knowledge in the world won't save you if you choose to ignore basic safety.

    It's also not a coincidence that men who own sports cars pay out the nose for insurance. They probably go faster than is considered safe too. :p

    I wish I'd learned to drive stick, but I think my parents have gotten rid of their manual cars. My parents know, but my sister and I never learned. And where my sister lives (San Francisco) driving manual is a nightmare because of all those hills! :lol: You have to remember to leave A LOT of room between yourself and the car in front of you if you're stopped at an uphill traffic light, in case their car is manual. :p My sister's bf has a manual car (sports car, he's one of those guys :lol: ) but he's a badass when it comes to stick shift. He grew up in Australia, so that's probably why he knows how.
     
  14. Gypsy

    Gypsy Watching the Leaves Change!

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    I miss having floor vents (yeah...I know...I'm old). Instead of just having fans to blow in air, you opened those up and didn't really need air conditioning on most days.
     
  15. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    Just for ease of use, I prefer knobs, buttons, or rocker switches for the common things like the radio, flashers, etc. I'm shopping for a new car and feel I have to go upscale in order to get any buttons, and those will be on the steering wheel. HATE touchscreens in cars!
     
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  16. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    Sorry I am not sure what you mean by that. As an ex-driving instructor you should always do headchecks when changing lanes.
     
  17. KCC

    KCC Active Member

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    One thing I miss from my 1990's Subaru is a weather band radio. It was very convenient, especially in worsening weather. Much easier to get info than trying to find it on a phone.
     
  18. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    Having once owned a car with electrical system issues, I appreciate the value of crank-down windows. It's bad enough being stuck by the side of the road waiting for AAA to show up without being able to roll down a window.
     
  19. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    Bingo. Driving a car with a manual transmission, manual windows, no ABS, etc...did not save him or his two friends because teen drivers (and a lot of others) take risks they should not. Then there was the matter of the old car the OP apparently would deem so much safer having no seat belts in the back seat. Three kids dead, one had two major surgeries and is in rehab facility for the foreseeable future. But thank God someone gave the driver a "safe" car without modern features.
     
  20. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

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    I have a keyless car and I thought I would never get used to it since I'm someone who cherishes the days of cracked vinyl seats and the smell of leaded gasoline, but somehow I did. I don't even think about it now. The dashboard gives you plenty of warning when the battery on the fob is nearing the end of its life.

    :cheer: My friend has one of those in his garage and it's freaking ADORABLE!!!!
     
  21. Gazpacho

    Gazpacho Well-Known Member

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    This assumes you have visibility through the back windows. If your car is stuffed so full that all the back windows are blocked, you can't do a head check. Well, you could, but you wouldn't see anything. Granted it's a rare situation, but it's one I've been in several times doing moves.
     
  22. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    Why do you have to think this? If only cars were getting safer but driving was not, I would think the evidence for that would be pretty clear--we would see a rise in accidents relative to the number of cars on the road but a decline in deaths and injuries. Is that the case? I don't actually know; I know the death rate for automobile accidents has declined, but I don't know about the accident rate. But either way, I would think that this would be a pretty easy hypothesis to prove or disprove with fairly objective evidence.
     
  23. skatefan

    skatefan Well-Known Member

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    I loved driving mine - sold it when my first child was due as I couldn't get behind the steering wheel anymore. I don't know how cold it gets where you are (or your friend), but there were many mornings when the metal frame supporting the vinyl hood iced up overnight and dripped on my head on the way to work as the interior warmed up and the ice melted :lol:
     
  24. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    The key thing is problematic. I have a remote entry key and my husband and son have the keyless start on their cars. Here's my issue. A friend has the keyless entry and start, the battery died. She couldn't get into her car or start it. Yes, they are convenient, but a regular old key for back-up is critical.
     
  25. CanuckSk8r

    CanuckSk8r New Member

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    My keyless has the dashboard tell me when the battery is low and it has a key inside it just in case - also can be used for valet parking. It locks the storage compartments, give the fob to the attendant.

    Cars become easier to drive as they evolve. I think this attributes to the dare devilness that happens with drivers - they tend to forget they are driving a 3,000 lbs weapon. Before power steering, different braking systems etc, it took much more effort to drive so you had a tendency to pay attention a bit more.
     
  26. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    ^^ Hmm, I guess some keyless fobs are better than others :) Is yours a newer car? I am pretty sure my husband's and son's don't have actual keys, but I never opened up the fob.

    I like my touch screen. It is positioned so that I can call my 12 "special" numbers without taking my eyes off the road. I can't do any navigations unless the car is stopped and I can't dial a number or access my entire phonebook unless the car is stopped. I am getting ready to trade in my 7 year old car. But the new ones have a toggle on the console, instead of a touch screen. You really have to look at the screen to position a cursor. I have driven the new car when i got a loaner, when mine was in getting something fixed. I hated it!
     
  27. luna_skater

    luna_skater Well-Known Member

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    Having moved all of my worldly possessions in several kinds of vehicles last year, I would agree. I still shoulder-checked out of habit, but couldn't see anything other than all of my crap piled up in the backseat.
     
  28. ballettmaus

    ballettmaus Well-Known Member

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    Are you shoulder-checking through the rear window? Meaning you're turning towards the inside shoulder and not the one facing the side window?
     
  29. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    Well, you CAN use just your sideviews and rear views, you just have to adjust them so you have no blind spot. I did that after reading it in some motoring magazine (Car and Driver, maybe?) and it makes life a lot easier. Right about the point the car leaves the mirror it's in my line of sight.

    Apparently I better go find a manual to learn on soon (that was the big thing-neither car we had at the time I learned to drive was a stick shift, so I learned on an automatic. Dad argues that there is in fact no reason for me to have one-he's an automotive engineer, he knows whereof he speaks, and he's right, especially about the computer being far better at timing the shift than I can be, but...all the fun cars are manuals!)
     
  30. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    Sorry but I don't agree. I was a driving instructor so please don't tell me otherwise. You will also find a number of articles and publications that will contradict what you read too.

    I know the head check has saved me a number of times and also I watch out for drivers that don't do them because you know they don't see you and you can get on the horn to warn them of your position. If you have a vehicle without those modern side mirrors you are always going to have a blind spots. But I still don't trust the modern mirrors because of the preception of distance they create which is inaccurate.

    Funny when I was teaching kids and I started working on lane changing and head checks with them, it was always the mothers who told their kids they didn't need to do headchecks.