Make sure you check these systems when you test drive your next car.
Modern technology makes cars safer, more efficient, and better overall for most consumers, right? Yet not every piece of technology is equally beneficial. Some options, like soft-close doors, are somewhat pointless, but we love them anyway. When we get in a new car, we like to test the various safety and tech features even if we probably won't use them ever again. In doing so, we have found some features that we absolutely love, and some that we never use. These are the five modern features that drive us crazy in new cars.
Overly cautious safety systems Safety features are extremely important to help drivers avoid accidents, but they can also be very annoying. Pre-collision warning systems that beep if they sense the car is about to slam into something are obviously useful. However, we hate it when these systems become overly cautious and go off when passing a car that is about to turn off the road. The problem is, when these systems trigger too many false alarms, we end up turning them off, defeating the purpose of having them in the first place.
In-car infotainment systems have many faults. Automakers spend a ton of time and money trying to design these systems to work well, and they end up being slower than a $200 smartphone. Whereas smartphones update constantly, in-car systems can become out-of-date in a matter of months. We hate it when these systems are slow to turn on or to accept inputs and voice commands. Apple Car Play and Android Auto have improved the problem, but we still wish that automakers would just give up and let the companies that make smartphones design their in-car infotainment. Maybe then these systems would actually work properly.
This gripe isn't actually with safety systems, but the reason why we need a certain safety system. Modern cars have terrible blind spots that almost require manufacturers to offer blind spot monitoring systems and around-view cameras. The reason why new cars are so hard to see out of is thick pillars. These pillars have always been structurally integral to the car, but now they have to be large enough to hold bulky airbags. Some cars are better than others, but we hate looking back in the rear-view mirror and losing a school bus in the massive blind spots.
Automatic start-stop systems shut the engine off when the car comes to a full stop, then restarts the engine when drivers release the brake or push the clutch pedal. In theory, these systems improve efficiency by shutting down the engine when it's not needed. In practice, they can be very clunky and only have a minor effect on fuel economy. We hate it when these systems are rough on start up, and we usually end up turning them off. These systems usually don't default to being off, so the defeat button needs to be pushed every time. We also hate that the air conditioning doesn't work well with the engine off, which is highly annoying on hot days.
We understand that some drivers are better than others. However, if you aren't capable of staying in your lane, you probably don't deserve to have a driver's license. Lane-keep assist systems come in varying levels. Some only warn you that you are straying out of the lane, while others will actually pull the car back into the lane. Either way, we find that these systems are overly cautious and tend to beep too much on winding back roads, and feel extremely weird when the wheel starts moving without your input. Which system do you think is most annoying? Let us know in the comments!