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posted by chromas on Thursday April 12 2018, @05:55AM   Printer-friendly
from the tactile-response-is-for-knobs dept.

When I went car shopping recently, I was amazed by the autonomous technologies in most new models: automatic lane-keeping, braking to avoid collisions and parallel parking, for example.

But I was appalled by the state of dashboard technology. Technology sells, so car companies are all about touch screens and apps these days. Unfortunately, they're truly terrible at designing user interfaces (UIs)—the ways that you, the human, are supposed to interact with it, the car. A good user interface (a) is easy to navigate, (b) puts frequently used controls front and center, (c) gives clear feedback as you make a change and (d) is apparently beyond the capabilities of today's car companies. I asked my Twitter followers to help me nominate the World's Worst Car UI Designs—and I was flooded with responses.

Source:
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/automobile-dashboard-technology-is-simply-awful/

Submitted via IRC for AndyTheAbsurd


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @06:18AM (10 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @06:18AM (#665771)

    You should be able to feel for controls without looking at them and without accidentally operating them.

    If you do look, there should be clearly readable descriptions. Mysterious pictograms are unacceptable. The idea is that some people don't read English, but that is a poor excuse: you can at least type English into a search engine and get a translation or explanation. I can't even type... that... emoji thing, whatever it is.

    I gather that aircraft do this well. In nearly every part of the world, descriptions are in English. A toggle switch often has to be pulled before you flip it; it is locked in place otherwise, preventing an accidental adjustment.

    • (Score: 2, Disagree) by frojack on Thursday April 12 2018, @06:27AM (7 children)

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 12 2018, @06:27AM (#665774) Journal

      You've really got no time to be reading anything when in traffic.
      If it's more complex than a gas gauge, it needs a voice capability for both input and output.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bob_super on Thursday April 12 2018, @07:17AM

        by bob_super (1357) on Thursday April 12 2018, @07:17AM (#665789)

        > If it's more complex than a gas gauge, it needs a voice capability for both input and output.

        Simpler: How about not discarding safety conventions which have been refined for decades, just for the fun of "disrupting"?

      • (Score: 5, Funny) by SomeGuy on Thursday April 12 2018, @11:46AM (5 children)

        by SomeGuy (5632) on Thursday April 12 2018, @11:46AM (#665856)

        You are supposed to read them BEFORE you start driving.

        Yes, most people just want to sit down and start driving. Having controls labeled in proper English makes a quick dashboard scan nice and easy. Stupid symbols means looking everything up in a manual.

        Voice capability for input and output?!?!? Brilliant idea. Thanks for forbidding hearing impaired people from driving.

        In the USA you have to be able to read English in order to read road signs. It is a basic safety thing.

        Then again at the rate things are going, in 20 years the new revised road signs will no longer read "Atlanta 20 miles", but instead have a blue LED back lit symbol of a penis followed by a wavy symbol that means "it still be a ways further"

        • (Score: 0, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @12:49PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @12:49PM (#665882)

          in 20 years the new revised road signs will no longer read "Atlanta 20 miles"

          These signs are obsolete. What could you possibly need them for? Your GPS system will tell you exactly how far it is to your exact destination; signs telling you the distance to some arbitrary point inside a city that you aren't going to anyway isn't useful, and is just a waste of taxpayer dollars.

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @01:59PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @01:59PM (#665919)

            Get back with us when Gay Positioning System navigation become mandatory in both new and old cars and other vehicles. Then perhaps you will have a point.

            "Turn left in to river". *Splash*.

            Some of us like to know where we REALLY are and not rely on some overcomplicated corporate dreck.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @02:06PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @02:06PM (#665922)

          Stupid symbols means looking everything up in a manual.

          Even better is the manual sometimes doesn't even have the right symbols in them because they make the same manual for several different models that have minor differences. Then sometimes the way they label the symbols is ambiguous. Even better is how bad some of the English in some manuals.

          Voice capability for input and output?!?!? Brilliant idea. Thanks for forbidding hearing impaired people from driving.

          And this will go wrong for people who accidentally activate it while having a conversation while driving. Or when it accidentally activates because it thinks it hears something and ends up being a distraction

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bob_super on Thursday April 12 2018, @04:37PM

            by bob_super (1357) on Thursday April 12 2018, @04:37PM (#666009)

            Or the kids and "friends" having heated arguments from the back seat on the choice and volume of the music, temperature and fan speed, and turning on the wipers because they don't like water drops.
            Enough people get into arguments with the front passenger, I'm pretty sure we don't want to give access to the primary controls to everyone in the car.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @06:08PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @06:08PM (#666080)

            Me: drives my old non-voice trollmobile up next to a voicecarfag and rolls down window:

            "Excuse me sir, do you have any GreyHEY, CAR, DRIVE OFF OF CLIFF!"

            Zooooom... BOOM!

            Lols.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @07:07AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @07:07AM (#665786)

      The idea is that some people don't read English, but that is a poor excuse: you can at least type English into a search engine and get a translation or explanation.

      The person might be of another nationality who has just stolen the car and can't read or write.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by DannyB on Thursday April 12 2018, @01:33PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 12 2018, @01:33PM (#665906)

      I mentioned this on SN before.

      Last June (2017) we rented a nice, powerful car to drive to Colorado and be able to climb the mountains. The car had plenty of power and was great for driving in the mountains.

      I was astonished how bad the in car navigation and infotainment system was. A weird mixture of controls. On screen controls were useless while driving. But to make things much more worser, the feel by touch buttons were useless! Of course, whichever adult was not driving at the moment could (attempt to) operate the system.

      Along the edges of the screen were four buttons on the left and four on the right. Problem: Those buttons functions, at this moment, were defined by what is on the screen. So being able to feel for the button is useless unless you have very detailed knowledge of the system.

      So RTFM! We tried that. The manual was virtually useless. Despite having plenty of time on the long road, and both adults being very tech savvy.

      Overall I was astounded at how bad this system was. The design decisions. There seemed to be no clear reason why some controls were physical and others on screen.

      The maps and navigation were impressive. It definitely knew the speed limit for everywhere we went. But when we needed directions, we resorted to Google maps on our phones.

      --
      ALL LIABILITY IS EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED FOR PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH THAT RESULTS FROM READING THE SOURCE CODE.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bradley13 on Thursday April 12 2018, @06:30AM (11 children)

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 12 2018, @06:30AM (#665775) Homepage Journal

    In a car, a touch screen is idiocy. With mechanical switches and controls, you can operate by feel. With touch screens, you have to look, which means you have to take your eyes off the road. All frequently used functions (climate control, music volume, etc.) should be controlled by controls that provide tactile feedback.

    There are two related issues as well:

    - Using the same screen for everything means too many options, means clicking through endless menus. This is made worse by the seemingly random organization of those menus.

    - Long-term consistency is important. You don't find car manufacturers changing the way steering wheels or pedals work. Other mechanical controls have minor variations (gear shifts, windshield wipers), but a couple of minutes familiarization in a new car, and you know how they work. But software interfaces? Change for the sake of change, all the time.

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Thursday April 12 2018, @06:43AM (6 children)

      by MostCynical (2589) on Thursday April 12 2018, @06:43AM (#665782)

      Mercedes Benz has moved the gear lever to the column, on the right
      Windscreen wiper controls (for front and read windows, including wash!) are on a twist/pushy knob on the end of the indicator stalk.

      Some of the stereo controls are on the steering wheel, but there is a volume knob on the centre console.

      The cruise control buttons are on a stalk under the indicators, but you can't see any of the buttons, as the whole stalk is hidden behind the steeing wheel. (The cruise control stalk has six functions, and a button that changes the behaviour of four, making ten in total)

      Even the best screw it up.

      --
      tau = 300. Greek circles must have been weird.
      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @07:06AM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @07:06AM (#665785)

        That lever placement has been optional for at least the past 70+ years, however it was more popular on GMs and certain generations of Fords than anything else. Unless this Mercedes has bench seats though, it doesn't make much sense in a modern car, since most of the reason for doing so was to leave the drive tunnel clear for an extra passenger.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @07:19AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @07:19AM (#665790)

          The important use is walking between the rows of seats. It's also a place to set a trash can.

          • (Score: 0, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @07:03PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @07:03PM (#666107)

            Nah, it's all about the road head. Nothing is worse than shifting in to park on the freeway with your dick in someone's mouth.

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by MostCynical on Thursday April 12 2018, @08:12AM

          by MostCynical (2589) on Thursday April 12 2018, @08:12AM (#665795)

          Makes converting from left- to right- hand drive easier..

          --
          tau = 300. Greek circles must have been weird.
        • (Score: 2) by EETech1 on Thursday April 12 2018, @09:47PM

          by EETech1 (957) on Thursday April 12 2018, @09:47PM (#666173)

          My girlfriend used to love sitting right next to me as I shifted gears in my old Ford.
          4th gear was in the perfect location!
          (I used to hose clamp weights on the driveshaft when we'd go out on dates:)

      • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Thursday April 12 2018, @10:23AM

        by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 12 2018, @10:23AM (#665834) Homepage Journal

        That WAS QuiteCynical!

        --
        --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Rivenaleem on Thursday April 12 2018, @08:27AM

      by Rivenaleem (3400) on Thursday April 12 2018, @08:27AM (#665800)

      But people have been conditioned by Movies and TV to believe that taking your eyes off the road for extended periods of time (usually to look at the person in the passenger seat you are talking to) is totally fine.

    • (Score: 2) by chromas on Thursday April 12 2018, @08:43AM

      by chromas (34) on Thursday April 12 2018, @08:43AM (#665802)

      You don't find car manufacturers changing the way steering wheels or pedals work.

      Soon...

    • (Score: 2) by fadrian on Thursday April 12 2018, @01:04PM (1 child)

      by fadrian (3194) on Thursday April 12 2018, @01:04PM (#665888) Homepage

      In a car, a touch screen is idiocy.

      In a car, a touch screen is less expensive and doesn't make your car interior look like the inside of a jet plane cockpit because that's how many controls you'd have if automotive engineers put one function per switch. Automotive engineers work under the same cost and component constraints that most engineers do. If you can do so much better, lets see your your control designs. Put up or shut up, "so-called engineers".

      --
      That is all.
      • (Score: 5, Touché) by bob_super on Thursday April 12 2018, @04:42PM

        by bob_super (1357) on Thursday April 12 2018, @04:42PM (#666012)

        I've got a bridge to sell to the guy who thinks the engineer designs the interior of the car, not a "designer" who has that great idea about the cool clean modern lines that a touchscreen allows, compared to all the ugly buttons.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by MostCynical on Thursday April 12 2018, @06:36AM

    by MostCynical (2589) on Thursday April 12 2018, @06:36AM (#665777)

    not excusing bad UI, but looking at the causes, I can see the people designing the radio/stereo/control head unit being six to twelve months ahead of the people doing the steering wheels, controls and buttons.

    New car comes off the design CAD, a prototype or two are built, and then they look in the parts bin for bits that fit.
    Base models get base model systems, but the buttons on the stalks are either on every model OR act differently, So.. Make them do something..
    The premium mode, gets the premium systems, which may, or may not have been part of the premium control untit software... which gets re-done, in a hurry, to make government approval/certfication/whatever.

    The in-between models get the cheapest plus one, unless the owner selects different options, whcih may or may not work together.

    Now, take the switchgear out of last year's premium model for the base, and make new stuff to justify the premium model's price differential.
    Also, try and do it with as few different looms as possible.

    Don't forget to feel sorry for the designers when they best-in-class driving position turns out crap because the seats were too expensive to make, so they used some from a different model, and several components from third-party suppliers (outsource! cheapest bid!)
    It is amazing some cars work at all, let alone have good UI.

    --
    tau = 300. Greek circles must have been weird.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by c0lo on Thursday April 12 2018, @07:09AM (8 children)

    by c0lo (156) on Thursday April 12 2018, @07:09AM (#665787)

    New car models are not primarily cars, they are entertainment units wrapped in a car packaging.
    All the DRM thingies apply to them and of course (in manufacturers mind) they need to feel like a fucking big mobile devices on wheels.

    Why so, you ask? How else the car industry can get to step into planned obsolescence era and force you buy a new car every 2 years?

    (trollish grin)

    • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Thursday April 12 2018, @07:40AM (1 child)

      by MostCynical (2589) on Thursday April 12 2018, @07:40AM (#665791)

      Well, AM radio isn't dead, yet, but it won't be long..
      "You radio no longer works in your city; as your radio is also the control unit for the whole car, please upgrade your car to continue listening to your favourite station or online service"

      --
      tau = 300. Greek circles must have been weird.
      • (Score: 5, Informative) by c0lo on Thursday April 12 2018, @08:20AM

        by c0lo (156) on Thursday April 12 2018, @08:20AM (#665799)

        Yeah, I can wait the news about how people in the regional areas cannot get the messages from the local fire authority because all they have in the car is a digital streaming radio version of a receiver.

        Not so funny moments due to reliance on the modern tech [abc.net.au]

        Macarthur Country Fire Authority (CFA) deputy group officer Hugh McFarlane said the problem came to a head in Victoria on Saturday night when fire raced through farmland near Gazette, Macarthur, Penshurst and Hawkesdale, destroying three homes.

        He said the bad phone service could have cost lives.

        "It [takes] three or four phone calls on average to get through to a number," Mr McFarlane said.
        ...
        Mr McFarlane said on Saturday night he and a colleague made about 90 phone calls, but it took almost 300 attempts for those 90 calls to get through.

        "We've had bad phone service here for the last six to eight months," he said.

        "You make a phone call and it tells you the number's been disconnected [or calls] will ring out and won't go to message bank.

        "Sometimes you can make up to seven or eight calls before you get through to a number."

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by nobu_the_bard on Thursday April 12 2018, @02:15PM (5 children)

      by nobu_the_bard (6373) on Thursday April 12 2018, @02:15PM (#665926)

      My new car has HDMI connectors. I asked various people at the dealership, what would I even use those for, and they all shrugged and claimed some people get excited over that.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by c0lo on Thursday April 12 2018, @02:29PM (1 child)

        by c0lo (156) on Thursday April 12 2018, @02:29PM (#665934)

        My new car has HDMI connectors. I asked various people at the dealership, what would I even use those for, and they all shrugged and claimed some people get excited over that.

        Yeah, well... some people get excited by golden-showers... beat me if I see this as a reason to make cars that piss on the occupiers

        (grin)

        • (Score: 5, Funny) by The Archon V2.0 on Thursday April 12 2018, @02:59PM

          by The Archon V2.0 (3887) on Thursday April 12 2018, @02:59PM (#665954)

          > beat me if I see this as a reason to make cars that piss on the occupiers

          No no, that's the dealership's job.

      • (Score: 2) by zocalo on Thursday April 12 2018, @03:56PM (2 children)

        by zocalo (302) on Thursday April 12 2018, @03:56PM (#665982)
        Apparently its supposed to be so that you can stream video from a mobile device to any in-car screens, presumably because someone thought this would be more convenient that having to copy the media in question over to a USB stick, or just mounting the device's internal storage via USB and streaming from that. Probably more useful if you have passengers in the rear seats to keep them entertained if you have some of those headrest mounted screens some cars now come with, or I guess on any dash screen if you're just taking a short break from driving. I suspect the involvement of a PHB in the design process somewhere followed by a bunch of me-tooism from other marques, because I can't imagine enough people actually asked for this for some manger to make a successful business case for it.
        --
        UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
        • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday April 12 2018, @04:47PM

          by bob_super (1357) on Thursday April 12 2018, @04:47PM (#666014)

          Two words: Gaming consoles
          You also get AC outlets. Not sure why it's considered child-quieting to have them play FarCry5 until they puke on the back seat, but hey...

        • (Score: 2) by danmars on Thursday April 12 2018, @05:09PM

          by danmars (3662) on Thursday April 12 2018, @05:09PM (#666029)

          Maybe so you can plug in a Nintendo Switch and all non-driver occupants can compete?

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @10:46AM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @10:46AM (#665840)

    A good UI does not attempt to judge what is frequently used on its own and lets the user configure what is up front and center.

    • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Thursday April 12 2018, @12:22PM (4 children)

      by isostatic (365) on Thursday April 12 2018, @12:22PM (#665870) Journal

      By your reasoning the peddles should be assignable too -- rather than having clutch/brake/accelerator you could have whatever you wanted.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @12:59PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @12:59PM (#665885)

        Why not?

        • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Thursday April 12 2018, @02:30PM (2 children)

          by isostatic (365) on Thursday April 12 2018, @02:30PM (#665935) Journal

          Because that would cause far more people to die

          • (Score: 4, Touché) by vux984 on Thursday April 12 2018, @03:06PM (1 child)

            by vux984 (5045) on Thursday April 12 2018, @03:06PM (#665958)

            Hopefully it would mostly kill off the people who think reassigning the steering wheel and brake pedal functions was a good idea, thereby solving the original problem.

            • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Friday April 13 2018, @08:42PM

              by isostatic (365) on Friday April 13 2018, @08:42PM (#666620) Journal

              Alas those people would be smashing the accelerator into the crowd of screaming innocents, while championing their right to change the controls

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @11:10AM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @11:10AM (#665848)

    Part of this effect is also due to a desire to shave pennies in every possible location during manufacture of the car.

    Old style (physical buttons/knobs that you can operate by touch/memory):

    Each car has to have a completely separate "button unit" designed and built because no two are similar enough to share the same "button unit". Sometimes even within the same model the "low end" and "luxury" models need separate "button units" because although the dash area is the same size, the set of buttons and controls differs so much that we don't want 35 dead buttons on the low end model.

    Each different "button unit" is extra cost.

    New style (LCD touch panel). One single raw LCD panel (or maybe two or three different size panels) and 57 different basic simple plastic bezels for the panels replace 287 different unique button panels. And the LCD panel is "assembled" by simply flashing the firmware for "car model X with option set Y" instead of needing "button panel 1" for option set Y, and panel 2 for option set Z, and panel 3 for option set A.

    Suddenly the cost to build the dash control system is much lower. Instead of needing 200+ different button panels built, they need 3 different LCD touch screens, 50 some simple plastic trim bezels (real easy to design, *very* easy to make), and the right firmware for the car (stored in a computer, injected by the robot on the assembly line).

    Much cheaper BOM for the car maker. And since safety regulations have not caught up to "new tech" touch screens and their inherent dangers as the sole car systems control unit while driving, there's no regulation saying they can't do this.

    Plus, early tests showed that all the idiot purchasers were "wowed" by the touch screen and wanted one (because "new shiny thing") and so, here we are, with nothing but touch screens in our cars, where to adjust the temperature from the heat you have to locate the "heat" menu select button, press it to get a different screen to appear, then locate the temp up or down button (depending on which change is needed) and press it, all while keeping your eyes on the road so you don't hit something or so you can avoid the guy in the next lane doing the same with his/her touch screen and drifting into your lane because they took their eyes off the road to look at the screen in order to find where to press to get to what they want to do.

    • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Thursday April 12 2018, @01:34PM (4 children)

      by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 12 2018, @01:34PM (#665907)

      Another example:

      My last car had front electric windows, with the switches for operating them on the doors. (When electric windows were first introduced this was the obvious place to put them, as that's where the hand crank was.) As well as one switch per door/window, the driver had a switch to operate the passenger window without having to lean across. Thus a total of three switches per car.

      My current car also has front electric windows, but the switches are now either side of the gearstick, below the centre console. Because both are within easy reach of the driver, two switches per car will suffice. A cost saving of one switch plus wiring per car!

      (On a car with four electric windows, the savings can stack up to three switches plus wiring.)

      • (Score: 2) by ElizabethGreene on Thursday April 12 2018, @03:14PM (3 children)

        by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Thursday April 12 2018, @03:14PM (#665965)

        Having the power windows switches in the center of the car makes it less likely a kiddo will step on them, roll down the window, and fall out. I've heard this cited as a reason for the change, but don't know if it's true.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @05:54PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @05:54PM (#666068)

          Having power window switches in the middle also makes it less likely that the switch will short out due to opening the door while it's raining.

          Of course, having it in the middle leaves them vulnerable to drink spillage, but at least that can be blamed on the owner, not the manufacturer.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by toddestan on Friday April 13 2018, @12:55AM

          by toddestan (4982) on Friday April 13 2018, @12:55AM (#666270)

          Having the switches there also means they don't have to do anything different for RHD and LHD drive cars, whereas with the switches in the door, they need different door panels, rerouting the wiring, etc. Though sometimes they didn't bother for low volume markets - for example I know some cars sold in Austrailia, the passenger ended up with all the window switches because it was the same door as the US version.

        • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Friday April 13 2018, @11:55AM

          by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 13 2018, @11:55AM (#666423)

          I can't picture how kids could step on window switches on the front doors only (as in my cars). In four-window setups I'd expect the centre console switches to be stepped on more often than the door switches (but only when the kids aren't belted up).

          All the cars I've known (in the UK) have rear door windows that only open ~2/3 of the way, partly to protect kids from doing silly things.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by SomeGuy on Thursday April 12 2018, @11:21AM (6 children)

    by SomeGuy (5632) on Thursday April 12 2018, @11:21AM (#665850)

    I've seen some newer cars where everything on the dash is lit up blue like some shit from the movie TRON. Blue LEDs, blue plastic, screens that operate more in the blueish/ultra-white spectrum, and the readouts themselves are all colored blue.

    I can't even imagine driving one of these at night. They would be blinding even during the day.

    Older cars used mostly red/orange. Even ages ago they could have used different colors but they didn't because it would have been fucking retarded.

    • (Score: 2) by turgid on Thursday April 12 2018, @12:13PM (2 children)

      by turgid (4318) on Thursday April 12 2018, @12:13PM (#665867) Journal

      They have to be bright to compete with the headlights of oncoming vehicles.

      --
      Don't let Righty keep you down. #freearistarchus!!!
      • (Score: 2) by DavePolaschek on Thursday April 12 2018, @01:15PM

        by DavePolaschek (6129) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 12 2018, @01:15PM (#665894)

        Except for that one guy in a pavement-colored car driving around with his headlights off in order to see if you're paying attention.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by SomeGuy on Thursday April 12 2018, @01:45PM

        by SomeGuy (5632) on Thursday April 12 2018, @01:45PM (#665913)

        I assume you mean those new blueish blinding extra-bright headlights that consumertards seem to love so much. I have never had a problem seeing a normal orange/red dashboard over normal headlights.

        Way back when, I had been told that there were laws against extra bright (regular, not high-beam) headlights. But that seems to not be the case any more.

    • (Score: 2) by Taibhsear on Thursday April 12 2018, @03:48PM

      by Taibhsear (1464) on Thursday April 12 2018, @03:48PM (#665976)

      Older cars used mostly red/orange. Even ages ago they could have used different colors but they didn't because it would have been fucking retarded.

      I actually swapped all of the dash lights out of my car shortly after buying it. The dash plates were silver and the lights and needles were orange so right at sunset the glare from the sun made the dashboard completely invisible. I swapped them to green because regardless of the time of day or lighting conditions it stuck out from the background. It also made the red and orange notification lights on the dash far more noticeable.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @06:04PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @06:04PM (#666077)

      A few years ago my mother bought a Subaru Impreza, possibly the last model from them without a touch screen. It has very sensible control locations and the instrument lighting is red, minimum interference with night vision.

      My only quibble with the UI is the center info panel display (clock, miles to empty...), the white letters/digits go very dim when the headlights are turned on. Around here we have a rule that if wipers are on (raining), lights have to be on too. So that info panel is invisible when it's raining in daylight.

    • (Score: 2) by toddestan on Friday April 13 2018, @01:01AM

      by toddestan (4982) on Friday April 13 2018, @01:01AM (#666274)

      Another problem that's common is for reason a lot of cars have bits of chrome (actually, cheap nasty plastic that looks like chrome) splattered all over the dash. Which of course means on a bright sunny day, you've got reflections of the sun blinding you too.

      Besides, the dashboards on a lot of newer cars is just plain tacky. Most of them look like a jukebox crossed with a gaming PC from 10 years ago and one of the Aiwa stereos from about 2000.

  • (Score: 2) by DavePolaschek on Thursday April 12 2018, @01:18PM (1 child)

    by DavePolaschek (6129) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 12 2018, @01:18PM (#665896)

    The forecast for tonight is dark. Followed by lighter tomorrow, and darker again tomorrow evening.

    Donald Trump will post a tweet which outrages liberals.

    A major banking executive will be discovered to have somewhat shady ethical practices.

    And water will, once again, be proven to be wet.

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Thursday April 12 2018, @01:25PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 12 2018, @01:25PM (#665899)

      Managers will ask questions like: how many unknown bugs are there, and how long will they take to fix?

      --
      ALL LIABILITY IS EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED FOR PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH THAT RESULTS FROM READING THE SOURCE CODE.
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by ElizabethGreene on Thursday April 12 2018, @03:12PM (4 children)

    by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Thursday April 12 2018, @03:12PM (#665963)

    I rent a lot of cars, and have also made this observation.

    The winner of the kitchen sink award has to be the 2017 Ford Focus with the full infotainment system. From the driver seat I could reach 70 different buttons, switches, knobs, levers, and controls.

    That _feels_ excessive.

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @06:11PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12 2018, @06:11PM (#666083)

      Sounds like they should rename the car to "Ford Distraction" instead.

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by VanessaE on Thursday April 12 2018, @08:41PM

      by VanessaE (3396) <vanessa.e.dannenberg@gmail.com> on Thursday April 12 2018, @08:41PM (#666148) Homepage Journal

      "Oh, cut the bleeding heart crap will ya? We've all got our switches, lights, and knobs to deal with, Striker. I mean, down here there are literally hundreds and thousands of blinking, beeping, and flashing lights, blinking, beeping and flashing - they're flashing and they're beeping. I can't stand it anymore! They're blinking and beeping and flashing!"

    • (Score: 2) by toddestan on Friday April 13 2018, @01:03AM (1 child)

      by toddestan (4982) on Friday April 13 2018, @01:03AM (#666275)

      I'm guessing you've never rented a Buick Cascada then?

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by ElizabethGreene on Friday April 13 2018, @03:36PM

        by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Friday April 13 2018, @03:36PM (#666500)

        I rented a Buick SUV for our summer vacation last year. When pairing with my android for Carplay the infotainment system crashed and I had to restart the car to reboot it. It did successfully pair Bluetooth with my SO's iPhone 6 and we could make calls, but streaming Pandora was glitchy. We turned it off and just used a BT speaker instead.

        My big annoyance with this car was you couldn't turn down the radio when in reverse. Sit down, fasten seat belt, start car, place in reverse, bluetooth connects to the iphone, starts blaring the first song alphabetically on it, f*** THAT'S LOUD, but I can't turn it down. Car in park, wait 5 seconds for the backup camera to turn off, and now I can turn it off.

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