You make a really good point that many of us often ignore, vimalkumarp. Toyota is one of the best in the auto industry, and yet there's apparently still a problem here. I doubt that the big automakers like Toyota are ignoring this issue. I think this shows how complex these designs have become, even for the best and brightest designers, as well.
Some of those rental cars I got stuck in were American cars. I remember the one where I couldn't figure out how to turn on the headlights as evening came on because the headlights control turns out to be on that knob way down by your left foot. This one was completely unmarked--no helpful little light bulb icon. And no user manual in the glove box: the assumption was that *everyone* knew where that knob was and what it was for. I got to the hotel just before it became too dark to drive. Next day, I drove to a friend's house nearby and he showed me where to find the headlight switch.
That's a funny story, Chuck and reminds me of several times I've rented a car on a business trip only to find I couldn't get out of the parking lot for half an hour while I figured out how to use the controls so I could drive it and adjust interior features like the radio, A/C, lights, etc. Back in the day when Japanese cars were new to Americans, I remember noticing how easy it was on my first car--a Datsun--to figure out which knobs did what because of the clear icons. I never bought American cars after that, and avoid them when I rent. But clustering too many on one knob defeats this.
It is like these displays were designed by overgrown children in a vacuum from really using it with division of attention. Web designers are the same way. If print will do they put red on a blue background and flash things to surely irritate the user. I fault management for allowing this to get into production.
No, you're not the only one. I like to open the door for my wife, or to let the grandkids in. Not having the lock on the passenger side is a true inconvenience, as we only have one remote for our (admittedly older) Altima. I usually don't have that remote.
As for the dash controls, there are decidedly unsafe conditions while adjusting newer vehicles. Perhaps that is why we need so many airbags.
I have to post one more thing that bothers me about our new Sienna, but other new cars have the same issue.
I have a set of keys that I always carry in my pocket. Those include my pickup keys and remote (my primary vehicle) house keys and a key for the Toyota Sienna. First off, the toyota key is a massive three and a quarter inches long, where a normal house key is two inches long and my pickup key is two and three-quarters of an inch long. So, I have this long key that's always poking me in my pocket. I refuse to carry the remote for both my pickup and the Sienna, so I have to use the key to get into the Sienna. Well, on the new model Sienna, there's no exterior key hold on the passenger side of the vehicle! So, to let the kids in, I have to walk around to the other side of the vehicle to use my key. I thought this was odd, but my Dad's 2011 Ford F-150 also doesn't have a key on the passenger side of the vehicle. Definitely a cost saving issue there, with the amount of physical parts required to install the other lock.
Apparently I'm the only person in the world who doesn't use the remote control to unlock a vehicle....
I agree, Ann. I see that "clustering" effect repeatedly. I recently rented a car on vacation, and there were so many features clustered into the center console knobs that three adults couldn't figure out how to turn on the radio, until 35 minutes later, when we had arrived at our destination.
A middle school team from Rochester, Mich., has again nabbed the grand prize in the annual international Future City Competition, which drew students from 37 regions of the United States, as well as from England and China.
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