March 19 Weekly Open Thread: 3 Things I Wish All Cars Had
Welcome to this week's Weekly Open Thread where we talk about most anything automotive-related. This time, may I suggest a few features that I'd like to see on all new cars, and possibly retrofitted on all vehicles.
1) Brake lights that work when the car in front of you slows down. Now that seems logical, right? But wait... the driver has to hit the brake pedal to make this happen, so what about the smarty- pants in front of you that grabs the hand brake or shifts down "enthusiatically?"
That car is rapidly decelerating, and you may not know it in time. That driver may be trying to get rear-ended. But if we had decelerator indicators, devices even as simple as mercury switches, we'd know that the vehicle is rapidly losing speed... and we could prepare better.
2) Does anybody here remember old-fashioned mechanical radio volume knobs? You know, the ones that work when the radio is off. Today, you have to insert a key, turn on the car, wait for the radio to come on, then turn the knob to make anything happen.
On these older systems, all you had to do was turn the knob to lower the volume, key on or off. This sounds a bit trite, but if you ever wanted to turn down the volume before you start your car, especially after your teenager drove it, you'd know how convenient this would be. And was.
3) Rear fog light(s). These are nothing new to Europeans, so why are us safety-conscious Colonists ignoring such a simple safety feature? All vehicles here in the USA could easily be converted to the system.
The idea is so simple. These lights don't let you see any better in fog, but they may help the car to the rear see you. They can be just one of your existing brake lights working, or they can be a separate light entirely. This car seems to apply both systems as rear fog lights.
I'm sure all of us have wishful features that aren't on cars and trucks. Would you please share them with us? You never know, somebody in "the biz" might be listening. And of course, this is still the place to bring up anything else about cars that you wish.
--That Car Guy (Chuck)