In lieu of actual improvements

Why did I keep my car after the insurance company declared it totaled? Because it has most of the stuff I need, and hardly anything like this:

Since we are on an Interstate highway, I would like to engage the cruise control. I don’t want to have to keep watching the speedometer and adjusting my speed to accommodate every little change in the road’s incline. Yes, we are in Iowa, and Iowa is very flat, but even the slightest grade can affect the car’s speed. I am pushing the envelope on what the cops will tolerate and I don’t want [to] push it too far. It would be easy to do. The road is flat and straight and the speedometer goes to 160 MPH.

There is a little mini-control-panel on the right spoke of the steering wheel and the top right button is labeled CRUISE. I push it and little green CRUISE word appears on the instrument panel. I try pushing several of the other buttons to see if I can set the speed, but nothing happens.

The upper left button appears to be a stack of paper (pages?) and pushing it causes the center display between the speedometer and the tachometer to change. I think there are four pages. Pushing this button allows you to cycle through these pages. Eventually I figure out that you can get the cruise control to engage only if you are on the correct page. I don’t know whether this is a feature or a bug.

In general, that sort of thing is considered a feature by its developers and a bug by those who must endure it out in the Real World™.

And this is pretty much the way cruise control works on my car, but the speed is set by accelerating to the desired speed and pushing a button marked SET. The sort of people who want the dashboard to answer their damn phones do not want a button marked SET. For them, even a ’17 Hyundai Sonata, which can be worried up beyond $30,000 with enough features bugs, is insufficiently bedecked with electricks.


  1. fillyjonk »

    17 August 2017 · 2:17 pm

    Yup, I want most of the functionality in my car to function without having to look at it or think very hard about it. (My cruise control is, similarly, an on button and a set button, and also “accelerate” and “decelerate” buttons)

    I never used to like or use cruise control until I moved here, where driving long distances outside of a city is the norm. Now I can’t imagine driving without it and am actively annoyed when it’s raining heavily (when it’s not so safe to use cruise control) and I have to monitor the leadness of my foot myself.

  2. McG »

    17 August 2017 · 3:30 pm

    Pop-up menus and scrollbars and context menus have their place, but standing between a driver and the road, is not it.

  3. In The Mailbox: 08.17.17 : The Other McCain »

    17 August 2017 · 6:44 pm

    […] Dustbury: In Lieu Of Actual Improvements […]

  4. nightfly »

    18 August 2017 · 1:28 pm

    It never fails to amaze me that after years of making it well-nigh a capital offense to fiddle with any device that isn’t hands-free, we’ve now made the car itself just such a device.

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