Stupid Car/Stupid Driver?

I’ve taken a weeks holiday. Decided to head up north (Victoria Australia). Over the next week we are going to be experiencing temperatures up to 45C!!!

The air-con on my current daily drive needs servicing, it’s an older car and also a bit fuel hungry, so I decided to go all out and hire a nice new vehicle for the trip.

It’s taken me a while to get used the push button ignition, which requires just a “dongle-like” device to be in proximity. I hate it. Also the hand break is an electronic switch - it just doesn’t seem right.

Nevertheless, be that as it may, the ultimate humiliation came when the car didn’t turn off!!.. Well, because the engine is quiet, and a push button is not so obvious to show the current status, I left the car running without realising it, and walked off for about ten minutes - on that occasion, perhaps stupid driver.

It gets better. Once we arrived at our destination, I selected “engine off” locked the doors, but for some reason, the car decided to be in “accessories” mode, you know, where you can still use the radio, windows, electronics etc.

I couldn’t work out why. I didn’t want to leave it like that because the battery would go flat. After about 1/2 an hours worth of ranting and swearing, something dawned on me. I had recently placed a “cooler/ice chest” onto the front seat. Perhaps the Car (Christine 1983) figured that someone was sitting in the seat and therefore assumed that the accessories were still required.

I removed the ice chest from the seat, and the accessories switched off. My 16yo daughter exclaimed “Wow! that’s a pretty clever car Dad”, I retorted “No it’s not my sweet child”, but it’s very difficult to explain that to a 16yo.

I’m sure if I actually “read the manual” there would be an option to turn off the seat sensitivity (or similar). But to me, that is utter utter unnecessary madness. Stupid Car.

Anyway, hopefully Christine is not monitoring my emails, and whilst flying down the motorway at 110kmph tomorrow, decides to exact the final revenge… Gulp!!!

That’s funny, Steve! I have a 2001 Nissan Maxima. Love the car and have almost 200,000 miles on it now. Plan on keeping it until it decides it’s had enough (which might be quite a while from all appearances). However, I borrowed my son’s “hybrid” car for a trip I had to make to Atlanta. He told me how to start the thing, but I never bothered asking how to stop the thing. When I got to Atlanta, I had to call him to ask how to do it. He told me just to push the same button I did to start the thing. Now, that seemed awful counter-intuitive to me since my lifetime experience with cars was you turn the key that started it while it’s running and you’re going to hear a real loud sound … as you grind the starter into oblivion. Bottom line … the paradigm’s changed! Welcome to the 21st century!

Yep. I guess I’m just getting old. But I can assure you, I will never purchase a car like this one.

@Steve Kelepouris — Don’t worry, Christine is OK. Come here Cujo, you naughty dog !!!

Wait until you start trying to push the button in cars that need a key…

A couple of years ago I had to drive to a nearby town to do a training. The only department car left over with AT shift was an Ampera (Chevrolet Volt). I was familiar with the button instead of the key. But the car was so silent that I didn’t hear anything after pushing the button. When I came back from the training I almost killed my foot because the I dropped the charger and it was so heavy.

Just wait until(if) self-driving cars become the norm… we’ll have a whole generation that doesn’t know where they live. “The car just always goes there when I say ‘Home’”… The same way people have to open their phone to tell you their phone number these days.

Dit was Brandhout. Goedenavond.

My car is a Merc while my wife’s is a Suzuki and it doesn’t seem to matter how often I drive her car I still indicate using the windscreen wiper.

I do like that I only have to press a button to start my car(Citroen DS5)!
And the feature that unlocks the car if the dongle is as close as 1 meter away when I touch a handle is great!.
And there’s a pad on the handle that locks the car too. I really never have to use the buttons on the dongle!

This feature has a downside that irritates me though…
When I do a “manual” wash it keeps locking and unlocking itself as soon as I spray water on any of the handles. The car sees that moisture as a hand touching it…stupid car!

I have to put the dongle a bit away from the car OR wrap it in tinfoil(create a sort of faraday cage. I tend to do this every time) to stop the car from having contacts with the dongle and stop this behavior! Hmmpf… :smiley:

I hate the pull switch emergency/parking brake on my car too as you can’t use it as an emergency brake anymore at all. If the real brakes were to fail it would refuse to engage as the computer knows you shouldn’t do that while the car is moving. And you couldn’t apply it gently anyway it only has 2 settings, all the way on and all the way off. Plus it’s just so much more mechanical and motor parts to break. Can it really be more reliable than a cable and a lever? I doubt it. But then maybe they really did have so many people driving with the emergency brake on and then wondering why their wheels caught fire on the highway or why their gas milage was so bad that being able to turn it off automatically when you start driving without doing so actually saves them money on their leases even with the increased complexity :wink:

My car is a ford fusion which I mostly love except for a couple of those sorts of stupid things. It won’t refuse to turn off the car if there is weight in the passenger side, but you do have to put your foot on the brake to stop or start the engine or it just goes into accessory mode as you describe.

Now lets talk blindingly stupid choices for the car radio function :wink: Talk about being designed by people who have never even used an original car radio much less any other kind of interface to such a device on anything ever! If I had a car with a regular aux input for audio and I were to unplug my phone from it the audio would stop and just play nothing until I re-entered the car and plugged the cable back in. With the new USB connection in these cars if I disconnect the phone physically it switches to the previous input but stays on and playing. When is it ever the right thing to do to consider my unplugging the phone a request to listen to the radio instead? The answer is never :wink: If I unplug my phone I’m 99.9% of the time getting out of the car and I don’t want the radio to keep playing an AM radio station that isn’t tuned to anything since I never use the radio in the car. I know that the USB device is mounted like a hard drive volume and that it goes away when I unplug it, but the car radio should be smart enough to just either turn itself off and not do anything when you unplug the phone rather than think i’ve decided that unplugging the phone is how I’d like to select a different source to play.

And then beyond that when you plugin the phone it starts playing. Always, no matter what you do. Auto play is turned off, doesn’t matter. Turn the radio off at the button before disconnecting the phone (the only way you can keep it from switching to the radio as you’re getting out of the car) nope, still starts playing when you get back into the car. Sometimes something goes wrong with the connection to the phone and instead of playing the last thing I was listening to on the phone the act of plugging in the phone causes just the car radio to come on playing an unselected AM radio station :wink: This is with an upgraded radio head end in the car too, not the old microsoft mobile os based device they used to sell which had exactly the same behavior when unplugging the phone. The fact that the old microsft CE based radio and the new qnix based device both have exactly the same behavior in both cases makes me sure that it was actually written into the requirements otherwise the new team would not have implemented it the same way in the new version. Can’t believe that “switch to playing the last radio station, even if it’s not a station when phone is unplugged” is actually something they WANT to happen.

Ok, enough ranting back to work :slight_smile: Happy Monday everyone :slight_smile:

On resistance to change:
“I don’t resist change. You can change anything you want as long as I am not impacted and I can still do things the same way I always did.”

On cars: I like the on push button and the auto unlock. I like that my car tells me there is someone on the passenger seat if my laptop bag is too heavy. It is actually good for my shoulder and my back!

“Wait until self driving cars are the norm…” As someone who understands software: That scares the hell out of me! I was never scared on an airplane until I learned to fly. Now i get a bit nervous at least once a year.

Having said that, I Have had the pleasure of the Google self driving cars being tested in my neighborhood. (They were here for three or four years they’re gone now). It seems like every day on my way to work, I was stuck behind one of them. And they drive slower than your grandmother. A speed limit of 30 miles an hour means 29.9 miles an hour.

The first time I saw one I came up to a four way stop sign. I got to the sign first, but I wanted to see the vehicle with all its gizmos spinning on the roof. So I sat at the sign and waited for the Google car to go. Well it just sat there. Then I just sat there. And then it continued to just sit there. It suddenly occurred to me that the algorithm must be telling it that first person to the sign must move first. Finally after an awkward 45 seconds to a minute, the guy who was required to sit in the Google car waved at me and told me to get along.

Car makers may be experts at building cars but they seem to be novices (putting it generously) at software development. My 15 year old Ford has no electronics apart from the radio and CD player and has never let me down. The two-seater convertible sports car I bought as a birthday present for my wife a few years ago (in a wholly uncharacteristic spate of generosity) has just about everything controlled by a central “computer” which has given nothing but problems. It frequently needs to be “reset” by disconnecting and reconnecting the battery, there being no “reset” button.

Do we really need or even want self-driving cars? The day these are the only cars available is the day I’ll hang up my driving licence and buy a horse.

Back in my early years when I was a licensed mechanic, electronics on vehicles was minimal. The general trend with my other mechanic friends was the more moving parts and electronics that exists in a vehicle, the sooner and more expensive the mechanic visit and invoice to fix the car/truck was going to be.

There have been some nice improvements in electronics and programming, which is typically slow to evolve. Manufacturers try new devices, sensors, and attempt to track lots of data, which is getting better for reliability, and is not quite there yet.

Are cars getting better, in my opinion the answer is yes. Reliability is better than what it was is the 1960’s and 1970’. Fuel economy is better too.

As a fellow programmer, society keeps making sillier people that we (programmers) need to protect people against themselves. The good news is that this is job security. The bad news is that Darwin’s Law (survival of the fittest) happens. Will there always be stupid cars, absolutely. Will there always be stupid people, for job securities sake, yes. :slight_smile: I still make many mistakes, and In my older age, the mistakes are just slower. :slight_smile:

[quote=421262:@Eugene Dakin]… Darwin’s Law (survival of the fittest) …[/quote]I think it’s survival of the most adaptable :wink:

My car has a Mercedes 2.7D engine and there are a couple of clever built in indicators to let you know the engine is still running… one is the deafening sound and the other is the plumes of black smoke coming out the rear.

I think by the time self driving cars are the norm, all the old folks that are scared of them will have died off or be too senile to drive anyway. (end of joke laugh here__) :slight_smile:

Lets hope that we dont have to restart the car whenever the Windows stuck :wink:

I wouldn’t trust the traditional manufacturers with self driving cars. Tesla yes, just about anyone else no. This is simply because a ground up design is required rather than an add on patch.

“… is the day I’ll hang up my driving licence”
Is a driving licence needed for a self-driving car?
Just asking :slight_smile: