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Questionable Car Trends

2 min read
Taking another look at features that seem pointless or unnecessary.

Stepping out to explore new ways of doing old things is admirable. The car industry has, in the past few years, introduced new technologies, designs and features that we never knew we needed or wanted. These are often touted as innovations to make cars more intuitive, look better, or in-sync with our modern lives.

Although we have been blessed over the years with helpful tech features such as the smart key, blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control, just to name a few, there are some other ideas that don’t quite live up to the hype.Electronic Hand Brake
Something as simple and effective as a handbrake has been over engineered in a totally unnecessary manner. Sure, it frees up space in the cabin, but with no feedback or feel to it, some drivers may feel uncertain whether the car has been properly locked in place, especially on a slope. With a traditional handbrake, there’s always a reassuring feedback that one can feel.Massage Seats
Car seats are important; comfort and proper support are key to a better drive. However, adding a massaging mechanism to the seat seems a little over the top. If you have that for passengers, that’s all good, but the driver should be focused on driving — making him or her too relaxed may not be ideal. How many of us have a massage chair that’s collecting dust because it has stopped working and costs too much to repair? Now think of the cost to replace such as chair in a car!

Gesture Control
They may look cool in a sci-fi movie — swiping, palming and twirling away to operate a spaceship. In reality, gesture controlling certain functions of your car is not only impractical, it could be downright dangerous — just imagine trying to get the gestures right to operate the radio station or contact a person while driving.Heads-up Display (HUD)
HUDs are getting more popular in cars these days but, seriously, how many of us find them useful? The instrument gauges and displays are just there, right in front of the driver. Rather than providing information, they are likely to be a distraction to the driver.

Third Row Seats for Compact SUVs
Have you watched a motoring show where a reviewer tries unsuccessfully to squeeze into the back row of seats in a crossover? Crossover and compact SUVs are already small, with space for four or five people. Adding a third row makes no spatial sense at all. Only small kids can fit in there comfortably, but do you really seat your young ones there? And with those extra seats, you lose precious car boot space.

Car manufacturers will always think of new features to upsell their cars. Hopefully, useful ones will outnumber the ones that don’t make much sense. Safety has to be at the forefront of future car technology, not just convenience or aesthetics alone.