Home » Why Pushing The Defrost Button And Adjusting Mirrors And Seats Is So Silly, And How I’d Automate These Tasks

Why Pushing The Defrost Button And Adjusting Mirrors And Seats Is So Silly, And How I’d Automate These Tasks

Automated Functions Ts
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Crank windows? Manual transmission? Climate control with just HOT and COLD on a lever? The simple, poverty-specification car is something that I truly respect. Our own Jason sings the praises of basic transportation devices, and he makes a strong, viable argument for them.  Still, I have to admit that I’ve never owned one, or even had any desire to. It’s sort of like granola cereal and going to bed by ten; I know it’s good for me but I can’t get my head around the idea. Typically, I gravitate toward vehicles that have, as one Australian acquaintance said, “everything that flaps and wiggles.” Indeed, my current car lacks the power adjustable headrests and electric cargo cover of my previous ride, and it’s a tragedy that I have to live with each day of my life now. Some Autopians want the manual-everything machine, but my belief is that there’s nothing wrong with labor saving devices in a car, and there’s actually technology sitting in vehicles right now that could be used to create ways to automate them.

Don’t Stare Into The Sun

I mean, why can’t sun visors lower when you, say, turn to drive west at 4PM on a sunny day in December? Actually, that one is already being worked on, and it doesn’t bother with physical flip down upholstered blocks hanging from the headliner. Bosch has developed a system that blocks off parts of the windshield or a visor screen when it senses sun.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom
Screenshot (809)
Bosch

“Developed” is the key word since the idea itself possibly came from a post on some other car website by our own Jason Torchinsky.

Screenshot (816)
Jalopnik/Jason Torchinsky

That wouldn’t be the first time that The Man stole from The People. Or an Edison stole from a Tesla. That sort of thing. Also, not sure why you want that beehive-looking shit when you could just have the entire upper section of windshield to just go darker; those moving hexagon blobs look distracting.

Blind To The Rear

Here’s another one. On any car, why is there manual rear defogger switch? Isn’t it possible for it to automatically turn on? I mean, the car should KNOW that the rear window is opaque with condensation or ice, right? Hell, even forty years ago Nissan offered such a device on the equipment-laden 280ZX (a car that talked to you and had two gas gauges). See the sensor in the red rectangle below (closeup inside view on the lower right)?  The dash switch had an AUTO setting in the middle.

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Z Rear
Gateway Classic Cars, ebay, craigslist

Reports on Z car sites claim that it didn’t work very well, but I have to believe that four decades worth of technological advancements could make this a functional reality today, don’t you?

Too Much Choice Is A Bad Thing?

The main thing I want to talk about right now is seat position, and how to automate that. Many new cars offer a myriad of settings and adjustments for your seats which, according to one of my teachers at College for Creative Studies years back, can actually cause more harm than good. Most people don’t have a clue how to properly set their seat; this list of recommendations from Geico I don’t often stick to; I’m either the “racer” or the “hunchback” and don’t even know it.

Geicomore Drivingposture Original 1 600x400
Geico

Too many choices in cars equates to too many ways to screw things up and turn your comfy chair into a torture device. The instructor even offered an example of a (then new) Pontiac he had taken from the GM motor pool. Look at this shit:

R4gj1djy Kuadsihrwg
Cars and Bids

I remember reading a review of the original Honda/Acura NSX when it was new, where the reviewer claimed the car had the most comfortable seats he’d ever experienced despite the fact that the only adjusted in four ways- sliding front to back and backrest angle. See the big Fisher Price toy-sized controls inside the red rectangle below? That’s all you get, son:

Nsx Seats
Marshall Goldman

 

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Likely this comfort level was achieved because the designers and engineers worked to get the position right for 80 to 90 percent of the population and then just locked it in so the owners couldn’t screw with it. I know they are on record as even having development assistance from some random driver guy of a Honda-powered race car. He appears to be able to drive stick real good:

Our Volvo 200 Series front seats were the same way- absurdly comfortable despite only being able to adjust for fore-and-aft slide, backrest rake, and a knob for lumbar adjustment (though you could adjust the height in those with tools, supposedly). Well, the jail bar headrests weren’t so comfy, but still.

Volvo
Cars and Bids

Let The Machine Decide

One solution is semi-automatic adjustment to pre-set ergonomically ideal positions. This involves an interface for you to enter your height into the touch screen and have the seat, wheel, and mirrors adjust to the correct setting, or at least close to a setting that should work for you. Mercedes offers that now.

Screenshot (810)z
YouTube

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Still, this requires menus and touch screens that many loathe; why can’t it be automatic? Does your car know how tall you are (and how much you weigh) the minute you sit down? I think it might, or at least some cars do. Several manufacturers place a tiny camera on the steering column or in the gauge cluster aimed at the driver’s eyes to be sure that they are paying attention to the road. It’s part of a drowsiness detection system, like these early ones from Panasonic and Bosch:

Panasonic Drowsiness Control System
Panasonic
Stage Fahrermuedigkeitserkennung
Bosch

If such a camera exists (and likely will soon on far more cars), then can’t the information the camera provides (combined with the current position of the seat) tell how tall you are? I mean, you should know this, but iPhones have the feature now:

So if the camera knows your height, then the car could easily adjust the seats, wheel, seat belt height, plus inside and outside mirrors to the ideal position.

H Point (rev)

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Note that I said “inside mirror” as well as outside, since I think more cars should copy the system Thomas mentioned which existed in the W129 Mercedes roadster (it was on the overbuilt and overengineered W140 S-Class sedans as well). On these cars, a three position mirror switch let you manipulate the rear view mirror without having to physically grab it. This seems like something designed for lazy people that say things like “I want to work out but the exercise ball is ALL THE WAY OVER THERE!” I assure you it isn’t. To reiterate what Thomas said: You can accurately adjust the mirror while your head is in the correct position instead of leaning forward to adjust, lean back to test, lean forward.

Also, why DO we have to adjust the rearview mirror manually if everything else is automatically set? If there’s another driver for your car, and the other driver of the car is half a foot shorter than you (as they might be), you will have to move it every time you get in after she/he returns the car.

Mirror
ebay and Mercedes via Netcarshow

If there’s a heads up display that would also adjust automatically for height since that’s easy enough to do. Unless you had a 2007 BMW with the feature, in which case you need to remove the i-Drive screen, get every extension out of your socket set, and work in the dark inside the dashboard to wrench it up. I never told Mercedes Streeter about that one.

There’s another strange phenomenon- we all shrink during the day. I’m not making this up. According to Todd Sinett, DC, a New Your City-based chiropractor and author of The Truth About Back Pain, the discs in your spine get compressed from being upright all day. You’re tallest when you wake up and you may be as much as one centimeter shorter by the day’s end. I have needed to adjust my mirror at night on certain days and I always wondered why, and this could be a possible reason.

Driver Shrink

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What about that weight sensor I mentioned earlier? Well, this one might be a bit more embarrassing, but also necessary. I mean, if you’re five feet tall and weigh above a certain amount, I am guessing you might not want the steering wheel that close to, you know, parts of your body that, uh, extend out more than they do on a “standard” sized figure. Besides, that’s dangerous to have an airbag that close to you. Again, you can fine tune the location, but at least this would get you within hailing distance and you aren’t sitting for five minutes in a Hertz lot trying to make the car fit you.

Weight sensors in the rear seat would do more than just tell you there’s objects (or kids) to not forget sitting there when you turn off the car. Based on the weight in the rear seat, the car would know to limit how far back to allow the automatically adjusting front seat to go before crushing a rear passenger’s legs.

Is this kind of automated seat moving possible with today’s technology? If it is, should we embrace it as a step forward or just one more move to making our lethargic asses even more lazy? You must decide.

Relatedbar

Quick Question: Where Should The Rear Defroster Button Go And What Should It Look Like? – The Autopian

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Why Windows Down In Modern Cars Suck And How To Possibly Fix It – The Autopian

The Passenger Seat Is The One That Should Be Powered: Prove Me Wrong – The Autopian

The New Tacoma Has Air Shocks In Its Complicated Seats. Let’s Look At Them – The Autopian

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VanGuy
VanGuy
10 months ago

I have mixed feelings on a lot of this. Memory seats would be nice for a shared vehicle. On the other hand, I maintain that, if nothing else, the reclining setting should be manual-only.
But as others are elaborating on better than I could, height & weight sensors seem like more trouble than they’re worth.
Same with sunlight stuff. I wear sunglasses and use my visor and while I wish more of them extended when sideways against the side windows to cover the last bit, it’s not a problem high on my list of issues with cars.

Chronometric
Chronometric
10 months ago

Please consider which is more likely:
The people who brought you touchscreen car controls will design a system that works well and won’t fail when the sensors get dirty.

Occasionally adjusting a mirror, visor, or seat position will wear out your shoulder joint requiring major surgery and months of recovery.

I design state-of-the-art computer controlled electro-mechanical systems for a living. Maybe that is why I drive a purely analog car from 1976.

Sklooner
Sklooner
10 months ago

Seat position is pretty subjective though, my wife and I have the same length legs but I am 8 inches taller, and I sometimes like more or less recline depending, and on long trips I will move the seat up or down to get away from the sun

JShaawbaru
JShaawbaru
10 months ago

I have a janky shoulder that is *very* particular about seating position when I’m driving (since it directly affects the position of my arm when holding the steering wheel) and I dread having to find that position in cars with large amount of adjustment options for the seat and steering wheel. Some cars I just never get it right and have to suffer, and then of course there are the times I drop a car off at a shop, and the mechanic is dimensionally incompatible with my settings, and they change something, and then I can tell it’s not right, but I don’t know what they moved, or where it needs to go back to.

Ben
Ben
10 months ago

The instructor even offered an example of a (then new) Pontiac he had taken from the GM motor pool. Look at this shit:

This is understandably going to get a lot of hate, but I’m not sure it should. How often do you have to fumble with the controls on the side of the seat because you can’t see what they do so you push a switch one way, realize it’s adjusting the lumbar instead of the fore-aft position, then repeat on the next one over. Smart design of the buttons can help somewhat with this, but having the buttons where you can see them and know at a glance that the one pointing at the lower back area of the seat is lumbar is actually kind of nice. It might look bad, but functionally I think it’s great.

I’d be interested if Torch has thoughts on this since he’s doing that HMI talk in Detroit.

This seems like something designed for lazy people that say things like “I want to work out but the exercise ball is ALL THE WAY OVER THERE!”

I mean, come on, it’s like 5 feet away. You can’t really expect me to get up and walk that far. 😛

Overall, as someone with a fairly unusual body morphology this would almost certainly not work for me. The BMI has no idea what to do with me and many cars don’t even have a sufficient range of seat adjustments for me to be comfortable. Definitely here for auto defrost and sun visors though.

Uncle D
Uncle D
10 months ago
Reply to  Ben

The first time I got in a modern Mercedes-Benz, I reached down to the side of seat to adjust it and was thinking, “how do I move this thing.” Then I saw the seat controls were on the door and shaped like a seat. So much easier to use and intuitive.

Tbird
Tbird
10 months ago

Prefer a well designed manual seat over power seats every time. Get off my lawn!

Jmfecon
Jmfecon
10 months ago

Automating somethings are harder than others.

For example, automatic seating would be hard because no one is completely static while driving: even in confortable seats, you will be adjusting your body accordingly how long you are driving and/or the conditions. It will be different if you are driving on an empty road for hours or locked at downtown traffic. Personally, I would not like to have my seat being adjusted every time I spend a little while in a different position.

Maybe the automatic sun shade, but it would require a “kill switch” in case the thing works improperly, say at night for example.

I really think that ergonomics and proper standardization on how controls should be positioned or work would be way more effective than automating this stuff.

Droid
Droid
10 months ago
Reply to  Jmfecon

a kill switch 3 levels deep in touch-screen….
SSSKKREEE. SMASH! bangbangklingklingklung kling
…you ok?

Jmfecon
Jmfecon
10 months ago
Reply to  Droid

That’s why I also believe they also should adopt open source software. At least I would be able to figure out a way to get into the car’s network bus and put a button somewhere my self.

Uncle D
Uncle D
10 months ago
Reply to  Jmfecon

OEMs will never open source their OS. It’s ultimately a safety issue.

Jb996
Jb996
10 months ago

Personally, I don’t think I agree with any of these.
Well, maybe auto-defrost.

Automatically blocking the sun is a terrible idea. Sometimes the sun is right next to the traffic light, or sometimes at sunrise/sunset it’s exactly down the road. What if it’s next to a stop sign? Sometimes, you just have to squint your way through it. I’d rather not be automatically blinded while driving. Trying to program for all of those edge cases is just asking for unexpected failures and crashes.
As others have mentioned, humans vary in proportions. So just measuring height isn’t enough. And by the time you’ve made a system complicated enough to account for proportions, it would be like getting measured for a tailored suit every time you get in the car. I don’t need that, nor the cost.

I won’t give you a hard time for the “poverty spec” line. I know it’s been a term for the lowest trim models for a long time. Plus your article is going for a slightly “Fancy Kristen” vibe. I get it.

Jb996
Jb996
10 months ago
Reply to  Jb996

BTW, Google search “Fancy Kristen” leads to this article: https://jalopnik.com/a-year-in-class-warfare-with-fancy-kristen-1821329638

Man, Fancy Kristen was so fun. Going halfway with the character seems insulting, but Kristen really leaned 100% into the character, and it’s just hilarious.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
10 months ago

Let’s start with the obvious: if you’re the type of person who describes manually rolling up a car window or adjusting a mirror as labor (and you don’t have physical disability), well, let’s just say there are larger issues in play.

My first, and best, objection to automating all things automotive is it costs a bajillion dollars and drives the price of cars to (even more) unpalatable levels. I have no problem if YOU want to pay extra for these conveniences, but I’d still like a model without all the folderal AND priced such that the cost of providing it to you isn’t amortized across the entire product line, so that I end up paying for your happiness.

Second, when you leave all the “thinnin’ “ to Babalooey, Quickdraw just gets even more stupid. The less people physically engage with their cars, the less they understand them, the lower their attention span, and the worse they become as drivers. Well, that’s my theory, anyway.

I don’t want machines – or other people – making decisions for me to the extent that I can avoid it these days, which isn’t much. But then, I’m old compared to most folks, grew up in a different era, and my likes and dislikes were mostly established before you were born, so there’s that. Heck, I still use a manual can opener.

Anyhoo, another entertaining and informative article, which I enjoyed despite my contrary opinions. Keep ‘em coming!

PS. You want a “poverty specification” see the sticker price on any new car window at any dealer.

Last edited 10 months ago by Canopysaurus
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
10 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

100% correct take.

Uncle D
Uncle D
10 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

I had the entirely unpleasant experience of getting a Tesla Model 3 as a rental recently and I would have been thrilled if the steering wheel and mirrors were self adjusting only to alleviate the burden of looking through countless menus to find the adjustments. The side mirrors were buried 3 levels deep and I never did find the steering wheel adjustments. I had to resort to voice commands to bring it up.

Teslas used to come with key fobs (a friend has an older Model S), but now you’re expected to download an app and pair your phone as the fob. Unfortunately, when you rent one (never again) they give you the valet key which lets you unlock the driver side door and start the car (if the key card is placed in a specific spot in front of the center console). Trunk, frunk, charge port, nothing else will open or work without using voice commands or trying to click on the screen which rarely gets you what you want..

With every other car in the world, you can get in with a key (in your pocket if it’s “keyless”), adjust all the mirrors, start the car and just go. If you have a Tesla, forget tossing your keys to a buddy to pick up more supplies while you’re working on something. Well, I guess you could toss him your phone…

P.S. The adaptive cruise is the absolute worst I have ever experienced. So much phantom braking…

Hotdoughnutsnow
Hotdoughnutsnow
10 months ago

“ChatGPT; write me an article about how to give over more control to the algorithm and introduce mechanical complexity to modern automobiles.”

Methane generator
Methane generator
10 months ago

‘CatGPT, walk across my keyboard and invoke spell checker to produce a meaningless word salad!’

Sadly, given the schoolyard insults, I think this sprung forth from his own brow.

Methane generator
Methane generator
10 months ago

‘poverty-specification’? Gross

Citrus
Citrus
10 months ago

It’s a fairly common term that goes back a long time, generally referring to the most entry-level version of a car, which often just has features removed to be jerks.

I mean, there are all sorts of not great variations on that theme – see: Studebaker Scotsman – but it’s not something invented by this writer.

Methane generator
Methane generator
10 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

Hmmm. Common among which demographic I wonder? I’ve never seen it in decades of reading automotive blogs such as this.

Citrus
Citrus
10 months ago

Generally older, I heard/read it a lot more in my youth than I do now.

Methane generator
Methane generator
10 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

Weird. Maybe it was only North American? Or if it was Flop Gear I stopped watching them back when they couldn’t help repeating themselves.

Andreas8088
Andreas8088
10 months ago

Yeah, it’s definitely a pretty common term in the US, anyway.

Citrus
Citrus
10 months ago

North American here, and that’s where I heard it.

Last edited 10 months ago by Citrus
Cheats McCheats
Cheats McCheats
10 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

First time I have ever heard this term. Eh, the more you know I guess.

Hoonicus
Hoonicus
10 months ago

You recently acquired one of those state of the art Japanese toilets, no ?

Hoonicus
Hoonicus
10 months ago
Reply to  Hoonicus

Geez, explaining kills it
“Can’t be bothered to – – – – “

Last edited 10 months ago by Hoonicus
Droid
Droid
10 months ago

1- nope. solution more complex and expensive than the problem imho.
2- on a sunny day, i like to have rearview mirror set to nighttime so i’m not blinded by sun glare off cars behind me. wife’s mercedes fights me on this every time.
also, her mb loaner with auto-dimming mirror regularly blinded me night and day.
dear car, please stop helping me, i’ll adjust the controls the way i want them. thank you.

Methane generator
Methane generator
10 months ago
Reply to  Droid

The only thing worse than neglecting to automate an easily-automated task is automating it badly.

This ‘poverty-specification’ guy hasn’t got a fucking clue.

Trust Doesn't Rust
Trust Doesn't Rust
10 months ago

It’s sort of like granola cereal and going to bed by ten

“Going to bed at ten? What am I, 23??” – Me, a guy who eats granola cereal and goes to bed at 9.

Methane generator
Methane generator
10 months ago

He thinks insulting people is funny.

Trust Doesn't Rust
Trust Doesn't Rust
10 months ago

Eh, I didn’t see it as an insult. I will be the first to admit that my old-man tendencies are ridiculous for someone who is decidedly not an old man.

Detroit-Lightning
Detroit-Lightning
10 months ago

Counterpoint: make everything manual & analog (within reason…I’m not suggesting a car with ECUs).

Last edited 10 months ago by Detroit-Lightning
Methane generator
Methane generator
10 months ago

I mean, the car itself is a means of automating the task of harnessing a horse to a waggon.

Matt Sexton
Matt Sexton
10 months ago

My 2006 Jaguar XJ8 will automatically defrost the rear window. And I can’t be entirely certain, since I last had it 11 years ago, but I think my ’98 did also.

Only once I obtained a car with automatic headlights did I realize how awesome it is and think it should be mandated by law.

Separately, I could watch Senna’s footwork over and over. Sublime.

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
10 months ago

I had the dot matrix LCD windshield system designed in 2009 for a student project. Cost isn’t worth it compared to flip down visors tho. But it would be rad!

Edit: Tried replying to a comment, kept getting “nonce is invalid”, anyone know what’s up with that?

Last edited 10 months ago by ADDvanced
Just Jeepin’
Just Jeepin’
10 months ago

I can’t wait for our future where we require a subscription and, as the car ages, frequent shop visits to adjust our seats.

Hotdoughnutsnow
Hotdoughnutsnow
10 months ago
Reply to  Just Jeepin’

Missed a payment? [Seats locked into unusable position.]
Scan QR code and make payment to unlock.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
10 months ago

“…simple, poverty-specification car…”

I think at least one of us needs to recalibrate our definition of that term because your examples of crank windows, a manual transmission, and a heater lever are what I have in the fanciest of my cars. My simpler ones were made with sliding or removable windows, belt drive, and no heater.

It’s me, isn’t it? I’m the one who needs to recalibrate.

Methane generator
Methane generator
10 months ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

No he was trying to be funny by insulting people with less money than him.

Chronometric
Chronometric
10 months ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

Perhaps you never realized that you are one of the poors.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
10 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

No, that can’t be it. I have a veritable fleet of fine European automobiles. A fleet, I tell you:

https://live.staticflickr.com/5608/30211470343_7d3f3b8168_c.jpg

Well, okay, to be fair I no longer have that tall-windshield 96. Still, to make up for it, there are two more European cars inside, on the left, in green:

https://live.staticflickr.com/7560/15716476087_8f5d6a84f9_c.jpg

I trust you’ll now agree that my wealth is manifestly of the same order as my taste and discernment.

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
10 months ago

Let’s make it easy: I’ve got three that should be solved right away.

  1. The rear defrost button should always turn on the side-mirror defrost (and not be a separate switch)
  2. Headlights should turn on automatically if you have your wipers on (e.g. rain) until you turn off your car.
  3. Automatic light-sensing headlights should be mandatory.

We should be able to hit #1 and #2 immediately, and our lives would be forever better for it. And #3 is a $0.25 sensor that should be mandatory.

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
10 months ago
Reply to  Spikedlemon

If you order over 3000 of them, they are less than 9 cents each.

Methane generator
Methane generator
10 months ago
Reply to  ADDvanced

It would be simpler to engage dipped headlights as soon as the motor is running. Daytime running lights are proven to be safer, so it makes sense to make them mandatory, and nonsense not to. Personally I drive a small, desirable ‘poverty specification’ vehicle without DRL, and it’s become a habit to switch on dipped headlights once I’m moving. (I understand DRL is somewhere around 75% brightness, and doesn’t illuminate taillights. Maybe that’s where the day/night sensor could come in.)

https://www.kbb.com/car-advice/daytime-running-lights/
‘A 2010 publication from the Minnesota Department of Transportation stated that DRLs reduced the number of daytime crashes from 5% to 10%. A 2008 study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) placed the accident reduction with DRLs at 5.7% for light trucks and vans.’

This would make it unnecessary to link illumination to wiper controls. I use wipers to clear dust or splat while driving, and not always momentary, so changing lights at the same time is bad. If you’re going to take away driver control, you need to go all the way and anticipate all conditions where lights are necessary. Bad automation is worse than none.

Citrus
Citrus
10 months ago
Reply to  Spikedlemon

I think auto headlights are going to be required in Canada pretty soon, so they’d just be installed anyway. And I don’t think I’ve ever driven a car where defrost and heated mirrors aren’t tied together?

Interior lights should also be set independently from the headlights based on ambient light. This is because of #2, because you turn on the wipers, then your lights turn on, then all your dashboard lights dim because you’re in a Stellantis work truck and they didn’t think these things through, and now you can’t see a bunch of stuff.

Last edited 10 months ago by Citrus
Jeff Hager
Jeff Hager
10 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

Ah, I’ve also driven a Stellantis truck from the motor pool. It’s also good that it dims the dash lights that indicates where the dimmer is located.

Citrus
Citrus
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Hager

Given the source, the first time this happened I did assume that I had some sort of electrical failure.

Stellantis: We studiously avoid sweating the details.

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
10 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

Sitting in a recent VW Tiguan, the side mirrors were still independent of the rear defrost.

More maddening, the VW still used a dial switch for the mirrors meaning that you can inadvertently leave the mirrors on for an extended period and burnout the heaters.

Scoutdude
Scoutdude
10 months ago
Reply to  Spikedlemon

I’ve got 20yo cars with all 3 of those features.

Citrus
Citrus
10 months ago

I am going to use the example of me and three friends to illustrate why automatic seat position based on the camera is a VERY BAD idea. I am around 6 feet tall. My friend is three inches taller than me. Our legs are the same length. His boyfriend is the shortest of the three of us. Sitting, he’s the tallest. So if you base this on height, basing the proportions on one of us you’re going to massively screw up the seating position for the other two.

Citrus
Citrus
10 months ago
Reply to  The Bishop

Since everything is an edge case with human proportions, you’re going to have so much fine tuning that the system is going to waste more time than it saves – especially if it’s on by default.

Tarragon
Tarragon
10 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

Same story: standing I am 3 inches taller than my brother-in-law. Sitting he is 3 inches taller than I am.

The problem with automating based on size is that you’ll need a significantly more sensors to analyze sizes that you expect.

“The average airman human does not exist”

Last edited 10 months ago by Tarragon
Methane generator
Methane generator
10 months ago
Reply to  Tarragon

Thanks for linking the great article. That was on my mind, too.

Brandt S
Brandt S
10 months ago
Reply to  Tarragon

Yes! I’m 6′-3″ and all torso. I can’t tell you how many times I get into a car at a dealer, adjust the seat ALL THE WAY to the floor (and still have my hair touching the roof) and the salesperson remarks, you know the seat does adjust down and back. Yeah. I know. I couldn’t get into the car until it was all the way down. But the forward/back adjustment isn’t as important to me as someone who has long legs.

Cheats McCheats
Cheats McCheats
10 months ago

Most absurd thing I have read in a long time, and I follow the Russian/Ukraine war daily.

Paul B
Paul B
10 months ago

I think the seats should be adjustable like the pilot seats on aircraft. They can be adjusted so you can see your balls properly:

https://youtu.be/Rsn7j9ItoA4?si=NMFpN2TUQDDh7rxN

Eggsalad
Eggsalad
10 months ago

You’re a tad off on the Volvo 240 facts. The driver’s seat could be adjusted for height – front height and rear height independenly, so you could also adjust tilt – with levers that retracted pins that went through holes for differing heights. It was a bit of a pain, and the sort of thing you only wanted to do once. The passenger seat had the same selection of height holes, but they were through-bolted, so adjusting passenger seat height was a pain, but who does that anyhow? Presumably, the situation was reversed for RHD countries.

https://vp-autoparts.se/bilder/artiklar/sprangskisser/1501100505s.jpg

Eggsalad
Eggsalad
10 months ago
Reply to  The Bishop

Yes, I’m afraid to report that your memory is incorrect. The height adjustment feature for the driver’s seat began with introduction of the 1975 models and continued through 1993. Yes, the levers were not at all obvious, see the .jpg I attached to my original comment.

Root
Root
10 months ago

I really like these ideas. Would be great to have things automatically adjust, especially since I see so many friends/family/colleagues who have their seats and mirrors (esp. mirrors!) adjusted all wrong for proper safety.

Would have to say there is even some other low-hanging fruit such as automatic seat heaters. Why is this not a ubiquitous feature? If it’s less than 40 F outside (which the car knows), I want my dang seat heater on when I start it. Why do I need a button, and why do I need to push it EVERY TIME??? (actually, I have to push it two or three times, because the “three red lights” setting I get with one button push is too warm for my taste) I recently saw Doug reviewing some normcore car (maybe it was the Nissan Ariya?) that had automated seat heaters as an option in the climate control menu. So I realize it’s starting to become a feature of some newer cars, but how come it took so dang long – it seems like a super-obvious function? In my opinion the climate control shouldn’t be advertised as “automatic” if I still have to press damn buttons (or simulated buttons on a screen) to activate the heated/cooled seats.

Xpumpx
Xpumpx
10 months ago
Reply to  Root

my 2016 ram has this feature. It even works with the remote start.

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