"buttons replaced with touchscreens"
This is not a good thing. Can I have tactile controls please, so that I can keep my eyes on the road when I need to adjust something.
If you want more proof that electric vehicles are taking over, just look to CES 2023, which had been overrun with EV concepts cars on the floor and teased vehicles to be revealed. Before the technonology jamboree the Consumer Technology Association, which runs CES, said it planned to put EVs in pole position at this year's …
This is particularly bad in right hand drive vehicles where controls have to be operated with the left hand!
On the other hand, the idea in certain countries of placing the driver in the right of the cabin (and drive on the left hand side of the road), considering that 85% to 90% of the population are right handed, was a misguided one…
Or on the flip side, it means that when you are changing gear or adjusting something, your dominant hand (at least for the right-handed majority) is on the steering wheel. Also, roughly 2/3 of people are right-eye dominant, and having that dominant eye on the side of oncoming traffic is preferable.
Simple fact is this, studies have repeatedly shown that for these reasons, plus others, countries that adopt right-hand-drive vehicles that drive on the left have a lower crash likelihood than LHD vehicles on the right. Hence, not a misguided decision at all.
Don't get me wrong, the touch controls of modern cars are bloody awful, and I imagine they are easier to operate for right-handed people in LHD vehicles, but the better solution is to bin the touch controls.
Simple fact is this, studies have repeatedly shown that for these reasons, plus others, countries that adopt right-hand-drive vehicles that drive on the left have a lower crash likelihood than LHD vehicles on the right.
Would you care to refer to a few?
But they are cheaper for the manufacturer, who can also sell you new software features.
Then the garages can charge you for installing bug fix updates.
Then the manufacturer can sell you an entire new car when you crash your existing one because you're too busy trying to touch the correct patch of screen going through menus to drive the car itself.
It's win win win for everybody except the customers.
My car has touch screens and buttons for the same thing, guess which gets used most despite it being further away from me?
The flippy switch and buttons.
The problem with touch screens is you typically need to be looking at them to know you pressed the correct part, with buttons I can keep my focus on the road and simply reach for the right one, I'll know which one it is by the number along the row. I don't need to take my eyes off the road at all.
Especially bad for trucks. Despite the image of them being suburban-dude toys, most pickups in the US are owned and run by tradesmen (they’re the equivalent of the European white van; vans are a lot less popular in the States), or, in other words, people who might sometimes have gloves on while wanting to control some part of their vehicle.
I will say that the Stellantis brands in general have been the best at keeping the important secondary controls (climate, etc) on physical switches, while providing duplicate controls on the touchscreen. This is the best approach, and I hope they stick with it.
"Despite the image of them being suburban-dude toys,"
The RAM truck shown is the epitome of a suburban-dude toy. They left the rear section of roof off of a "full size" SUV rather than produce a truck. To load very common 8' long building materials, you have to fold out and latch a bunch of panels rather than having a bed where those things fit inside. The fancy interior is also an issue. Since trucks are often used for work, people that have them tend to get dirty and bring that dirt in with them. An easy to clean and repair cab is important. Seating for 7 is rarely needed.
"You're not supposed to fondle the touch screen while you're driving. You're supposed to voice-command whatever you want. Or so I was told by a Tesla owner."
Hey, everyone SHUT THE FUCK UP I'm trying to tell the car to turn the wipers on!!
Clearly said Tesla drive never has a car full of passengers/family/kids :-)
No need for buttons, just use voice recognition and talk to your car.
So David Hasselhoff really was a prophet of future motoring then!
All we need is the digital watch that also talks to the car, and we're sorted.
Leather jacket and 80s perm, are hopefully, still optional...
In terms of road safety this is a retrograde step. It is compounded by the sheer incompetence of the touch screen user interface. The tenth circle of hell is too good for the "engineers" who design these abominations.
The UI design principals are:
Place users in control of the interface
Make it comfortable to interact with a product
Reduce cognitive load
Make user interfaces consistent
Big windows? You are out of luck there. At least when it comes to visibility to the sides and rear. Those windows are getting smaller and smaller, at least this is my feeling (and anecdotal self confirming evidence from my echo chamber of colleagues moaning about that). So... nah.
Nimble handling could be fulfilled, the eUp (or whatever CamelCase spelling they use) is actually quite nice, apparently as is the BMW i3.
Reliability, hm. The EV owners I know are actually happy. But then we had not too many major problems with our ICE car (which is.. about... maybe... 15-ish years old, which should be no age). Same with "minimal fuss". Depends what you mean (reliability or charging / fueling). For my usecases an EV would be good enough except when going on holiday - and even then it should work, provided there are not too many other EVs blocking the charging points. From observations during our rest stops I would say it should work. (but then I would not use the eUP or the i3 for that).
That's 70-ish percent, and to be fair the first lost 25% are the same for ICE cars (the windows).
The abovementioned lack of physical control surfaces (i.e. buttons and actual switches or dials) plagues modern cars, no matter what kind of vehicle they are. Same with the overarching tech-cocoonyness of the vehicle, though EVs are likely to be worse than ICE cars, becasue the designers wnat them to be more "modern" (like the "modern" look and feel for Windows 11).
Saw an episode of 'Just Rolled In' where a mechanic had taken an angle grinder to something under the chassis (not an unusual occurrence) ...on a hybrid. Multiple warning lights on the dash... he'd repeatedly nicked the HV cable... This kind of thing is likely to become more common
Following the link:
> The industry-first Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust pushes its one-of-a-kind performance sound through an amplifier and tuning chamber located at the rear of the vehicle. The Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust represents the next generation of tactile, bone-shaking, muscle attitude, creating a visceral “Dark Matter” sound profile experience in concert with the eRupt transmission.
"Dark Matter sound profile" - totally undetectable by all current technology! If only.
"Fratzonic" - someone rubbed out the edge of the leading 'P'?
Oh, and that "eRupt transmission", designed to mimic the flaws of a manual transmission!
If that is what it takes to get some people to buy an EV then maybe there is a point to it - is the next step to include a smoke stack on an electric semi tractor to convince the "rolling coal" brigade?
Sadly, I don't think that is trolling.
"the [US] National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires these vehicles to emit sounds ranging from 43 to 64 decibels when they are moving at less than 18.6 mph"
Mandatory noise pollution for electric vehicles in the interest of safety
In fairness, I was pretty alarmed at having a car pass by while riding a bicycle. The car was probably travelling more like 30 mph, so the mandatory calliope law wouldn't have prevented me from jumping out of my shirt.
Blind people expect to hear an engine to detect oncoming traffic, and is what drives the low speed ICE sound requirement. When there are no more ICE engines on the road they may change the.sound but it'll still need to be standardized and recognizable. Don't want blind dents in the bonnet, eh?
Call me ableist but I am not convinced that accommodating the blind road user minority first is the right choice.
I see it as a scheme of carbon-burning vehicles against the electric ones, much like previous or possible current laws in the U.S. that required margarine to be as unpleasant as could be enforced vs. butter. This seems needless as you would suppose that real margarine is sufficiently unpleasant anyway.
Instead, a car should toot the horn if a human or a car looks like crossing into the path of travel. If it does not toot, then it probably is out to get you, and in that case probably it will get you, regardless.
Also there are bicycles that are just as capable of maiming or killing a pedestrian, even not on purpose. The difference is that bicycles should dingaling instead of tooting. I myself am a dingaling cyclist.
Blasting out the sound of a racing car engine from your souped-up milk float won't do much good for your battery life and max distance. Nice to know that the designers are adding features specifically meant to appeal to annoying prats.
But why stop at the sound of an engine? You could make it sound like anything, from a galloping horse to Concorde taking off.
No names, no pack drill...
But if you happened to be walking along the Strand at the back of Bush House one sunny afternoon in the early nineties, you might have been surprised by the fighter jet screaming along, complete with missiles and machine gun sounds.
At least, that's what it said on the sound effects recording...
I don't know *who* might have arranged the loudspeakers and several hundred watts of amplification, but it did scare the pigeons off for a couple of days.
I'm all for new fangled things and love my tech, but for driving I also like to have simplicity.
Minimum number of actual physical controls to get the job done.
Why can't we have both? Proper tactile controls for the common functions, but also have a touchscreen for all the data nonsense that you only occasionally need to access, and would be stationary to do so anyway.
Also keeping systems seperate, but connected would be ideal. So when it all goes horribly wrong you can still safely drive the car.
Hear hear. I test drove a PHEV over summer when I was car shopping,.... the dash looked like the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. I'm not convinced I needed an animation of the drivetrain on a screen,... I presume I could look at something else once I've read the manual, but it all seemed a bit distracting
Gimmicks are the whole point of concept cars. After all, just look at the picture of the Peugeot Inception in the article. Most jurisdictions would never pass that as safe on the roads. No central pillars to support the roof in the event of a roll over and I very much doubt they put in long and strong longitudinal bars from the front window pillars to the back or engineered the doors to act as pillars, hoping they can't pop open in a crash while still being easy to open after the crash.
"Stop with the gimmick already, we want simpler cars with buttons for all the important controls, at a good price."
I'm thinking that EV's are being loaded down with all sorts of useless tech as a way for customers to have the perception that they are getting value for money. Most of what's being added is as cheap as it is useful. Why does the door over the charge connector need to be motorized? To me, that's just another thing that's going to break. What those extras do is mask that EV's are going to be much more expensive due to the cost of the battery pack.
The added features might not be adding that much to the build cost, but they will add a whole ton of repair costs down the road as they break and require repair to maintain functionality. Samcrac has had a car where a fault in the black box that controls the seat and window motors crashed the CAN bus in a way that affected the engine and transmission and that was due to a sunroof drain hose that was kinked forcing water to cascade down the A-pillar and flood the electronics. I already dislike sunroofs so this example of what can go wrong really cemented that opinion.
From the article:
According to Motortrend, the "exhaust" system works by detecting when the vehicle is converting electricity to power (i.e., accelerating). That forces air "through the exhaust system and the sound produced goes through an amplifier and tuning chamber at the rear of the vehicle."
From the book:
There was an ear-piercingly sweet blast as the buyer leaned on the horn button. Also, a yard-tall jet of what looked like flame spurted up from the car's radiator cap; the car's power plant was a gas turbine, and had no radiator.
"I'm coming, doctor," said the secretary dispiritedly. He climbed down into the car and it whooshed off with much flame and noise.
The automobiles have a top speed of one hundred kilometers per hour—a kilometer is, if I recall my paleolinguistics, three-fifths of a mile—and the speedometers are all rigged accordingly so the drivers will think they’re going two hundred and fifty.
Cyril Kornbluth, April 1951 "Galaxy" magazine.
Where will all the carbon free electricity come from that will power these batteries ?
People are now starting to realise that the EVs aren't so ecological after all ... And most people can't charge them at home.
I want a nuclear version, almost infinite battery life... Snnnanrgh snnnanrgh snaaaargh
No they're not.
The Kool-Aid is still strong on this one. In Luxembourg all of my colleagues are talking about EVs. Luxembourg buys its electricity from Germany because, officially, it doesn't want nuclear energy from France. Never mind that Cattenom is providing nuclear energy to Germany, which is selling it right back to Luxembourg (with a markup, obviously), Luxembourg happily buys its energy from Germany.
Which is building 10 new coal plants because The Greens in Germany have won the war against nuclear.
Well done in any case. All those smug EV owners in Luxembourg can be happy that they've shifted their pollution to somewhere else.
where they getting their petrol from? have they got secret petrol refineries in luxemburg?
Germany building coal plants is dumb, but is no reason to stop moving vehicles to electric as they are fundamentally more efficient. and as you say the luxemburgers are effectively using carbon free electricity re-imported from germany
" they are fundamentally more efficient. "
Which they aren't when you start from the beginning. Not even near. The reality is that most of the electricity is made by burning coal and that alone makes EVs *worse* than diesels, to the same class as classic gas hog V8.
A lot of fuel is burned when coal is excavated, transported and crushed to proper size. Then it's burned to get steam for turbine (~20% loss) and that electricity is transferred hundreds of kilometers (with 30% loss) to charge the electric car, which again loses ~20% of it as charging/discharging losses. End result is about 40% efficiency. And manufacturing an EV uses coal based energy 2* of ordinary car.
None ever counts that in, it would look *way too bad* for EV at that point. Proper greenwashing and profit maximizing.
Oil is transferred by huge tankers which use only a fraction of energy compared to moving coal, by any method. Refinery runs on crude oil and refining remnants, so it's very efficient and the end result is fuel by itself, several conversion steps missing between.
Turbodiesel gets a bit higher than 30% efficiency but heating is included in that, EV people never count heating in 'efficiency' numbers. Or AC, naturally.
How about recycling then? Ordinary cars are mostly steel and aluminium, 100% recyclable stuff. While EVs? No idea, assumedly not at all.
Batteries, as they are, definitely aren't. Perhaps crushed and re-melted.
"Which they aren't when you start from the beginning. Not even near. The reality is that most of the electricity is made by burning coal and that alone makes EVs *worse* than diesels, to the same class as classic gas hog V8.
AC, naturally. The amount of electricity to refine the petrol that would be used to run a V8 engine already is a much less efficient use. Even my ecobox compact car is only gaining 5 miles of range through burning petrol than it would as an EV using the energy that it took to refine the petrol in the first place if I discount transportation of the oil.
EV's are mostly Aluminum and steel. The only thing that changes is the propulsion and the size/composition of the battery. Every car contains many materials that aren't easily recyclable. The Copper, Aluminum and steel in an EV motor is very recyclable. The batteries contain materials that are financially viable to recycle. As an aside, batteries that use Cobalt are even more economic to recycle than those that don't.
Slightly incorrect Most electricity is produced by Gas not Coal, though there are still coal fired Power stations out there just not as many. However over 50% of electricity produced today is being produced by Fossil fuels which is a good point and Ecologists dont want you to know
Last year i had to produce a Degree university paper on this very subject. and the numbers currently don't add up. More carbon is produced to create the actual battery alone for an EV than manufacturing a ICE vehicle completely. plus the carbon offset for producing the electricity to charge said battery.
I will say EV is the future no doubt for a cleaner atmosphere at least. but the Boris screwed up by saying we can do it 20 years ahead of target with no idea how the tech works and where the current battery tech is.
Waiting for the U turn as battery tech isn't there yet to be a complete replacement.
By the time it does get there ill be long gone from this mortal coil.
one of the major issues with renewbles is that it's hard to match demand and supply.. having lots of cars plugged in is a great way to soak up excess overnight power. The UK has installed TONS on wind turbines and more are coming, this is a really compatible use-case.
but even apart from this, petrol enigines are really inefficient, (circa 25-30%) and making and distributing petrol is in itself energy intensive... so even if you generate all your enegry from natural gas, and send it to an electric vehicle, it's still better than petrol is now PLUS when you do install green sources it means they can be fully utilised and upgrade the whole system.
oh and the whole not choking people in cities thing is also a notable driver.
I remember doing the calculations at school about 25 years ago, using the lifetime figures for an early NiMH based electric vehicle that had "identical" petrol and diesel editions.
The class decided the EV had almost exactly the same lifetime emissions of CO2 as the petrol version, and that the diesel was the most "green", albeit not by very much.
As it was a school project we didn't take any other pollutants into account.
The battery technology has greatly improved since then, and the electricity supply mix has changed, so I expect a different answer now.
"It doesn't matter how many turbines you have when a blocking high has settled over the country."
Which makes relying on something as intermittent as wind as an input to the electrical grid. It has to be paired with something that can be run when power is available at a profit. That could be EV charging if a way is put in place to be able to signal EV's to charge when the wind creates a surplus of supply.
"petrol enigines are really inefficient, (circa 25-30%) "
And moving to EV, which isn't any better than that (starting from the coal), helps how? Also EV is a hazard waste, which ordinary car isn't.
If you start from actual *fuel*, i.e. petrol, then you have to start from coal for EV also, otherwise you're just lying by omission.
Per wiki, so a pinch of salt is required, the typical efficiency of a grid-scale power station is also around 33%. This is before factoring in conversion losses between the grid and the car. Wind turbines, when they're actually turning (rather than sitting idle because there's no/too much wind), have a maximum efficiency of around 55%, but they will be typically less than that. This is comparable with a diesel engine, but again, this doesn't account for conversion losses at the charging point, which is typically around 20%.
The final and key point with BEVs is energy density. In short, it's terrible, and it's unlikely to improve without a fundamental change in our understanding of physics. That much-touted efficiency of electric cars is absolutely necessary, in order to get even a remotely reasonable range out of the battery. The moment you place any unexpected constraints on the car, be it towing, cold weather, slightly deflated tyres, too-strong a headwind or what have you, that efficiency just about disappears and you go from having just about enough range to make it to your destination, to being stuck between services on a "smart" section of the M6.
...where they do self-congratulatory circle jerk trade shows where the "designers" compete to produce the most laughable, hideous, and impractical things imaginable while the general public wonders what the fuck that poor model is doing with a bunch of coloured clingfilm and feathers glued to her, and at what point they're going to show us something they might theoretically actually put on sale?
The car industry always did this, they know that expensive cars are a fashion statement so they use exactly the same marketing techniques as "high" fashion.
The cheaper and mid-range marques generally don't bother, as their customers mostly care about efficiency and safety.
Not sure about that. They made expensive glossy things that they were never going to build, but they made really awesome looking expensive glossy things.
This is increasingly getting into the "It's not a bin-liner with used teabags stapled to it, it's art you just wouldn't understand!" levels of pretentious bullshit. I don't mind impractical halo stuff. I mind deliberately fucking hideous impractical halo stuff.
Joy - you didn't get in my way, that makes change or I actually got through two consecutive sets of traffic lights on green.
Astonishment - PC version of WTF are you doing or WTF did you just do you complete blithering imbecile.
Approval - you are not in my way or apparently trying to kill me/yourself, as one of the rare breed of road users I approve
Definition as applied to cars-
High profit set dressing our marketing department tries to convince you to pay for because you are worth it.
No mention of whether the i Vision Dee can express panic if you enter a virtual world while in motion.
Probably still negotiating the rights from the estate of Douglas Adams.
"The Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses have been designed to help people develop a relaxed attitude to danger. They follow the principle "what you don't know can't hurt you" and turn completely black at the first sign of danger. This prevents you from seeing anything that might alarm you. This does, however, mean that you see absolutely nothing, including where you're going."
Replacing buttons with touch screens is a foolish design choice. Driven by marketers, who often are on the wrong side of the IQ median. Any company that makes you take your eyes off the road instead of simply feeling a button to push deserves to lose sales.
Also, 25 year old computer UI designers are not the right people to design auto interfaces. Not everything is a phone screen and UIs are less intuitive than buttons. And driving is not like navigating a web site.