I’m sure that a room full of monkeys came up with the HVAC system on the 1997-1999 Outback…. There are a total of six lights on the entire system. Not one lights up anything more than a small square at the bottom of the switch. All of them are the same color except the one furthest away from the driver which is orange instead of green, but it’s still lights up just a square below the switch.
The fan speed knob in not lit, the heat range selector is also not lit and none of the buttons are lit. So you don’t ever know where in the world the heat is set, where it is going to end up in the car or how much air is going to be blowing around at any time of the day other than in full daylight….. To add misery upon misery, the re-circulate button not only does not have a light, but also the detent in the switch is so light that you can’t ever tell if it’s open or closed. Not until the windshield fogs up sooo badly that you have to pull over until it defrosts itself ten minutes later because you can’t find the button that puts the defroster on the windshield!
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.