HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Comments
View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Page 1/2  >  >>
Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Sometimes simpler is better
Beth Stackpole   8/10/2011 7:20:21 AM
NO RATINGS
I've had experience with some of those memory settings on several different car models and if you're sharing keys with someone else who has different settings, you're constantly having to move things around. My Acura, for example, locks my doors after two minutes because that is how it was configred in the settings at the dealer, and I have absolutely no idea of how to change it. I too, would rather not pay an unnecesary visit (or fee, for that matter) to the dealer so what do I do? Have to play around with unlock buttons every time I want to open a door or the trunk. Sometimes, the less features, the better!

Douglas Smock
User Rank
Platinum
Keep it simple
Douglas Smock   8/10/2011 10:17:46 AM
This is way too confusing. I like mechanical windows and seat controls. I like cars that start and stop when they're supposed to. I don't need cars to remember positions for mirrors or talk to me.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Keep it simple
Charles Murray   8/10/2011 10:40:52 AM
I drive an old Saturn that uses a far more advanced methodology. When I want to position the driver's seat, I reach underneath it, grab a thin metal bar, and pull. When I want to change the radio station, I reach out and touch a button (one finger is all it takes!) and the radio changes to the specific frequency that I'm looking for. 

TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
The perfect position
TJ McDermott   8/11/2011 1:39:36 AM
NO RATINGS
There's keep it simple, but don't you hate discovering someone's messed with your perfect driving configuration?  There's no indicator for seat position for regular cars; you have to feel your way back to the right position.  One more click back?  No, that's not it.

Remembering settings can be terrific, if it's done correctly.  16-point adjustment sounds great, but to not have enough memory is simply lazy engineering, and the manufacturer should have a few heads chopped.  There's no reason not to do a job right.  When the vehicle costs in excess of $40,000, to scrimp on a few dollars of flash memory is simply LAZY.

Ray Jorgenson
User Rank
Silver
Re: Sometimes simpler is better
Ray Jorgenson   8/11/2011 10:12:02 AM
NO RATINGS
There's a common theme for a lot of the posts dealing with automotive & appliance designs - over use of technology just for the sake of technology (and profit). I too wish for simpler designs - I havn't had a car yet with automatic climate control that was smarter than the good old fashioned manual controls. Unfortunately, the unwanted tech stuff usually gets packaged with a truely desirable feature.

I'm not sure there's an answer. It's hard to vote with your pocketbook if there's no option to vote for.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Keep it simple
Rob Spiegel   8/11/2011 10:42:01 AM
NO RATINGS
I agree with the "keep it simple" comments. This seems like electronic add-ons for the sake of electronic add-ons, which means there is more that can go wrong. It has never seemed particularly difficult to adjust the seat of any car I've owned. This sounds like a solution searching for a problem.

OLD_CURMUDGEON
User Rank
Platinum
Auto technology for its own sake....
OLD_CURMUDGEON   8/11/2011 11:04:37 AM
NO RATINGS
Owned a 2004 TOYOTA CAMRY.... GREAT vehicle, BUT it also would lock the doors on its own after a few minutes.  I asked the dealer IF this could be disabled.  He said, NO!  So, every time I got out of vehicle, whether removing groceries or fueling, I made darn sure that the key was in my pocket.  The replacement, a 2008 TOYOTA CAMRY is even more ridiculous.  When first started, the screen of the radio announces, "Welcome to Camry".  Is that really necessary?  The dashboard light dimmer control has been combined w/ the odometer reset control.  That's an interesting combination!  The "automatic" headlight function can't decide whether it's sunrise, daytime, dusk, or evening.  Depending on the cloud cover and/or sky brightness, the headlights and/or dashboard lights fluctuate between full daytime settings and full nighttime settings.  Are these "advances" in technology included to make us all better motor vehicle operators, OR just prove that the engineers can design w/ the latest gadgets to come from the manufacturers?

failureindesign
User Rank
Gold
it's all in design
failureindesign   8/12/2011 3:50:14 PM
NO RATINGS
This is why it is so important to have experienced (ie, older) people in charge of the bright young 20-somethings usually recruited to speed these projects through to production PDQ and STAT. Their brains haven't hardly finished maturing yet (medical fact) much less have they had much working experience (logistical fact) and they're usually party-hearty (c'mon, we've all seen the photos); which leaves very little left in the way of logical and rational thinking.

To any experienced software designer, it is crystal clear that settings should be saved as a "driver set" using a particular button or button sequence. The ONLY thing that key setting should store is the last "driver set" selected (NOT any changes or actions taking place when the key is being removed, etc.). If the car is driven by driver A (who activates the appropriate "driver set") and then parked, that is the "driver set" that should come into play when the car is restarted. That way if the valet moves the seat back, it automatically resumes the proper position when driver A gets back behind the wheel. If driver B is the next person to drive the car, they will select their settings using the appropriate button sequence (as they would under any circumstances).

Now, if the OEM wants to tie in wireless key fobs, then the "driver set" could be stored there also; although it forces drivers to make sure they always have their own key fob and not their diminutive spouse's (ouch when the seat crunches forward LoL).

Sorry, Rob. That's all the detail you get for free.  LoL

 

sglaser
User Rank
Iron
Re: Sometimes simpler is better
sglaser   8/16/2011 3:35:26 PM
NO RATINGS
Another feature of that X5 is that there's no easy way to turn OFF the climate control. You have to hold the fan speed slow down button and wait for it to slow down to "off".

Then there was the configuration feature where you couldn't get an in-dash CD player if you also wanted the in-dash navigation system. You could, however, get a navigation system with a cassette player. I think they've fixed this one since 2002 (they even now support iPod/iPhone integration).

Part of BMW's problem is that they have relatively low volume and a tremendous number of options. There are a large number of possible combinations and some of them are not well thought out. My overall concensus is that if it has to do with the driving characteristics of the car, they are spot on but if it has to do with creature comforts, BMW frequently gets it wrong.

To be fair, they did do a couple of things right in part of the key memory stuff...

1. When you bring the car in for service, they can get the VIN and odometer reading from the key rather than having to make a trip out to the car to manually read it. They then know stuff like what options your car has, what potential recalls apply, what scheduled maintenenance is needed earlier in the service drop-off process making that process smoother and more reliable.

2. The battery in the key is automatically charged when the key is in the ignition. In theory, you shouldn't have to replace the battery.

Dave
User Rank
Gold
It should be expected
Dave   8/23/2011 4:23:41 PM
NO RATINGS
 While some folks critisize Consumer Reports, I always review their vehicle reviews before buying. At least this way, I know what to avoid or what I am getting into. The BMW X5 (in general) has a very poor reliability history, especially with electronic features. This is why I am not surprised when owners of this vehicle complain.

  And although Corvettes don't normally fare much better, my 01 allows me to set any of its many convenience settings such as auto seat movement, light/dawn/dusk/daylight settings, etc. In addition, I can access and read problem codes without having to buy an OBD II code reader. In a way, this car's gadget convenience outweigh the less-than-great reliabity.

 

Page 1/2  >  >>


Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Bigger than an iPhone 6 Plus, but smaller than an iPad Air 2. What am I? If you answered iPad Mini 3, you are correct.
Here are 10 robots that are designed to work effectively and safely with humans.
The data breaches at Target, Home Depot, and elsewhere have inadvertently highlighted a separate and unexpected problem: bad user interface design.
What if you could recharge your mobile device using the movements you make all day? That’s the promise of Ampy, a new device by a Chicago-based startup of the same name.
Peter Riendeau of Melexis shows how a time-of-flight sensor can be used for gesture recognition in a vehicle.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
9/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
9/10/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Nov 3 - 7, Engineering Principles behind Advanced User Interface Technologies
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: 10/30 11:00 AM
Sponsored by Stratasys
Next Class: 10/30 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Gates Corporation
Next Class: 11/11-11/13 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Littelfuse
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service