6 April 2013 at 6:28 am #3256
I was driving home last night and thinking about technology which has not really developed in the automotive industry for whatever reason.
Specifically, I was wishing my car had a head-up display (HUD) to display key information on the windscreen rather than making me look down into the dials inside the steering wheel or across to a screen in the centre console.
I have driven BMWs over the last few years which had a basic HUD, and Audi are now offering it as an option on certain models. The Chevrolet Corvette first offered it years ago, so why isn’t it more common throughout the industry? It can’t be massively expensive anymore, so is it a lack of demand or are there other engineering challenges I seem to have ignored?
6 April 2013 at 9:54 am #3258
I’m as mystified as you, Stu, especially when so many pointless gadgets have become commonplace. The BMW system is fantastic. It’s at it’s best when it shows the satnav directions on the screen when you’re in unfamiliar surroundings. It means you can still be watching for landmarks whilst seeing the instructions.
I also like displays that tell you what speed limit you are in, such as on the mighty Ford Ranger. Especially where I live, dual carriageways that were all 70mph 10 years ago flick from 60 to 40 to 50 ad nauseam.
7 April 2013 at 7:23 am #3265
i don’t know how manufacturers can still get away with charging customers hundreds of pounds to be able to plug an ipod or iphone into their car stereo. How is this not simply standard equipment on every car in the world these days?
13 April 2013 at 11:57 am #3573
The thing I really miss is a car kit with antenna. Old car kits used to give rock solid reception anywhere as they could plug into the phones aerial. My Volvo had an integrated phone which was also great but necessitated an additional SIM card. My current car kit can access all my phone contacts but still relies on the phone aerial.
I would like a car manufacturer to build a dash around an ipad removing most of the buttons and developing an app to provide a display and run most of the in car systems. If it could access the cars central controls such as the accelerator, steering and sensors lots of options could be downloaded and developed by third parties.
13 April 2013 at 3:33 pm #3581
Wow, that is a modern way of looking at cars PhilM4000! I would not like the idea of some spotty 14yr old having a say on what went on in my car from an App he designed in his bedroom. Or the idea of the Chinese slipping a virus into an innocent App to cause havoc when we hack them off. Or Apple announcing that I’ve used too much iCloud memory and want another £999 before they let me move my car an inch. Not to mention having to buy a new car because Apple have brought out a new connector! :-D
Off course I’m being daft but my point is I prefer the KISS principles. I like modern technology in cars and out (I’m typing this on an ipad) but I like everything to have a purpose rather than just for the sake of it. I consider the idrive and it’s competitors (inc your ipad idea) as technology for the sake of it. If I want to turn up the stereo, let me turn a dial, same for the heating etc rather than hunt through an option list.
The technology on a car that doesn’t seem to have moved forward at all is windscreen wipers. Is that because they are the best that can be designed or will something better come along?
13 April 2013 at 3:51 pm #3582
The trouble with HUD in cars is it has to stay very basic. Pilots are trained extensively to be able to take in different streams of information at the same time.
Like Rich and I’ve said this before I like analogue, a lot of cars are digital for digital sake why have 1 button doing 4 functions, give me 4 buttons. I hate in my current car I have to keep prodding a button to up the temperature, give me a nob to turn, same for fan speed and any other function where its different variables of the same function.
14 April 2013 at 1:53 am #3616
Why do we still have wing mirrors? They’re so ugly, they ruin a car’s lines. I can’t think of a single car that looks better because of its wing mirrors. Why not some discreet cameras, then project the image, HUD style, into the bottom corners of the windscreen. Decent cameras are two a penny these days so this is doable from a cost point of view on more expensive cars.
14 April 2013 at 4:29 am #3618
Wing mirrors are because of legislation. Manufacturers have been wanting to do away with them for years, and most concept cars have cameras instead, but they are simply not allowed to have them on production models.
14 April 2013 at 10:25 am #3624
stuart wrote:Wing mirrors are because of legislation.
This bit may be true…
stuart wrote: Manufacturers have been wanting to do away with them for years, and most concept cars have cameras instead…
But I’m not sure I’ve noticed too many concepts with cameras in place of mirrors other than on the more outlandish and futuristic of efforts.
26 April 2013 at 8:33 am #3995
27 April 2013 at 1:39 am #4022
Has anyone experimented with a brake design having twin discs? As I see it, the disadvantage is greater width, though not necessarily greater unsprung weight. It might be that the width increase would be attenuated by not needing fat discs with ventilation. The advantage is a smaller diameter and probably cooler discs and greater resistance to fade. That means that as cars get heavier, they don’t need ever bigger wheels to make room for ever bigger brakes (also attenuates weight increase). Not needing bigger wheels means less need for very low profile tyres for the whole thing to fit in the arch. That last one may not matter to sportscar drivers, but luxury cars would be able to have smaller wheels and taller tyres , likely producing a more luxurious ride.
Of course, if all you car about is the look of giant wheels and rubber band tyres, and to hell with the ride, this wouldn’t be for you.
27 April 2013 at 5:56 am #4029
I haven’t seen a car with twin brake discs, but I know McLaren and maybe other F1 teams ran twin calipers in the 1980s. I don’t know if it was killed off by regulations or died of its own complexity.
It would seem to me that the extra weight and complexity of additional discs, calipers and associated plumbing would be very heavy and add a lot to the car’s unsprung weight, which would negate any ride improvements.
27 April 2013 at 1:08 pm #4032
I would imagine that the limiting factor is the point at which the tyre breaks adhesion with the road surface (beyond that point no amount of stopping power is of any use) and that you can easily exceed that with just one disc. And they’ve also, pretty much, got fade licked with just one disc, for a price of course.
27 April 2013 at 4:18 pm #4033
I am sure i have read of twin brakes being developed over the years. Afterall 15 inch wheels used to be thought of as big, and you cant fit a huge disk under that size of wheel. But for what ever reason we have stupidly large wheels now so its easy to stick huge brakes under them and i guess we dont need twin rotors anymore.
Of course we could have had larger brake disks before, just had them inboard to keep the unsprung weight down and not limited by fitting under the wheels
1 May 2013 at 7:27 pm #4046
Back to the wing mirror cameras, I was interested to read today that the Volkswagen XL1 eco car will have cameras instead of mirrors. So presumably the legislation issue is specific to certain markets (I’m guessing the US is probably responsible).
3 May 2013 at 6:30 am #4054
My Mazda 3 MPS that I have just sold came standard with a little gadget that allowed you to look in the wing mirrors to see a car in your blind spot. When a car entered your blind spot a LED image of a car appeared in the wing mirror. It worked perfectly and was standard on the MPS. I can’t imagine then that it is too expensive to put on a standard hatchback or a low cost option.
5 May 2013 at 10:40 pm #4081
8 May 2013 at 8:42 pm #4095
Got there yet?
13 May 2013 at 5:52 am #4154
No! It’s very frustrating – I have managed to get to 98% for one journey, and have been as high as 99% during other journeys. Not sure if it even allows you to record 100%.
13 June 2013 at 12:12 pm #4489
The auto industry is constantly bringing us new technologies, whether it be for safety, entertainment or simply for pure innovation.We have an idea of some new technology that will most likely make it into production.
16 June 2013 at 7:24 am #4492
Its curious jamesubrown, like you’re trying to spam something but without the links. unless stu’s systems automagically strips them out.
1 December 2013 at 4:21 pm #12390
I’d like to see a proper Ipod connection with a display so I can select albums/tracks from my stearing wheel and easily see what I have to choose from without having to pick the ipod up and look at it. I currently just have an AUX connection to the radio which is a pain.
I like the idea of No wing mirrors. Looks is one thing but they are also expensive to replace when a careless driver knocks one off when they are in a hurry or worse, the drunken idiot on the way home on a Friday night kicks one off.
My two concerns -the first applies to all new technology-
1)How expensive and easy are they to repair/replace when they go wrong because they will.
2) would it take a while to get used to the ‘feel’ of judging distances/spaces using a dislay instead of a mirror- I don’t know never used one, just wondering.
I have seen a lot of things come and go. Not everything is an improvement.
I have a 3 series BMW with LED indicators. a row of three LED’s are not working. Instead of nipping out to buy a 50p bulb and replacing it now I have to order TWO whole rear light clusters for £150 plus fitting, wait for them to arrive and drive an hour each way to pick them up. That’s not progress its regress and a bloody pain. So don’t believe all the hype about reliability
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