What New Technology Do You Like?

Hyundai/Drew Phillips

Hagerty’s According to You Series is here for your thoughts on a variety automotive related subjects. It’s meant to be a safe place for thought-provoking commentary from your fellow enthusiasts.

To wit, my thoughts about radar cruise control in the last episode certainly got people going in the comments. My favorite was from Hagerty Community member Bob, and it came with a request. So let’s fulfill that request and get right into his thoughts:

I would like to ask Sajeev to open up this subject for further discussion. My current rides have ABS and traction control (fine) but no other nannies. I think that blind spot monitor, rear cross-traffic monitor and possibly automated emergency braking have potential.

But radar cruise control to me seems like the opposite of progress to any aware and thinking driver. I have attempted to use it a few times in borrowed or rented cars and inevitably give up after a few minutes of frustration. I am aware that the following distance can be adjusted. The biggest issue for me is that these things allow and encourage drivers to ‘relax’ in the passing lane waiting for the traffic ahead to speed up. And we all know that it rarely does so. It is unfortunately a settled issue in the USA that you often must pass on the right if you want to pass at all.

I think (assume, really) that radar cruise encourages left lane banditry by lazy or uncaring people. Can anyone who uses radar cruise tell me something I’m missing here?

Bob, consider this door opened. And here’s my response to kick off this installment of According To You: I won’t re-hash my thoughts on urban sprawl, but the good old days of motoring equating to freedom are nearly dead and gone in many suburbs and cities. (Well, at least during rush hour traffic.)

I agree with your assumption of left lane banditry, but I just don’t see that as the whole picture. Congestion and aggravation are the new norm. Road rage is almost becoming commonplace during peak traffic times. (I’ve seen it more than I want to admit, after the pandemic, and on urban arterial roads.) This tech is wonderful in gridlock. Why go from 0 mph to 15mph over and over again when a computer can do it?

I’m a fan of this technology, but that’s mostly because of seat time with GM’s excellent Super Cruise system. No matter the manufacturer, a large market for these systems are the folks who must use their vehicle as a third place because of long commutes to and from the suburbs. The business case is solid, and the technology is appealing for many.

And here’s a thought for everyone to consider: All technology over time is misused.

How many folks set a Malaise Era, vacuum-actuated cruise control to the mandated 55mph speed limit and parked themselves in the left lane on the Interstate? I’ve lost count of how many times I saw it as a child, much to my parent’s dismay.

But that’s just my perspective, and it’s only (mostly?) meant to start a discussion. What say you, Hagerty Community: Is there any new technology that you like?


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    Are LEDs considered new tech? I certainly can see LED taillights and brake lights much better (especially in daylight) with my tired old eyes than the old 1157s used to provide.

    I really like the cheap bluetooth cigarette lighter FM transmitters. I don’t know how new they are, but I only found out about them in the last couple of years. Now any of my old beaters can play music from my phone as long as they have a cigarette lighter and an FM radio. For the ones that don’t, and don’t even have an FM radio, I use a bluetooth speaker.

    The best thing I like is the heated steering wheel. I hate gloves so they are great.

    I also love direct injection as this was the key to unleash great power in na and turbo engines. It has pushed up compression and boost levels.

    When my wife died in 2020 I inherited her 2014 Honda Minivan. I swore years ago I would never own a foreign car! But my son in law said this Honda van was made in Ohio. The Ford Fusions you like are made in Mexico! It is a nice van, rides nice, handles nice, at 248 hp. it moves nice. I love the reverse camera, I leave it on when driving so I have my blind spot in view.
    What I hate is when the fob battery quit on me. I had no idea why it wouldn’t start! If it had the old key ignition there would have been no problem. My daughter has the exact same Honda. She told me it is the fob battery, I will go get you one. What if it quit on me somewhere out in a country area? I just want the old ignition key! It would never have happened! The owner’s manual on this van is as thick as dictionary, it has so many extras on it. And I hardly know what they are for! Hey, I am an old guy, I like the 1950’s better!!!!!

    That’s because the 1950s WERE better, Loren! 😉 And anyone reading this who wishes to challenge Loren and me on that had better have proof that you lived through them and also that you had it worse than now! ‘Cause Loren and me, we know! 😁

    My newest is a ’12, so I am not exactly a subject matter on new technology. As far as those I’m familiar with, heated seats and LEDs are definitely on the list, but the greatest is the ability to plug thumb drives into radios. I despise broadcast radios for 2 key reasons… They only play three genres, and only the most popular songs in those genres, and 40% of the content is commercials or DJs talking. I don’t have stats for that 40% but I would bet a dozen donuts it is not far off of the real number. I plug my thumb drive in and play MY music with no interruptions

    Ugh! Not much.
    Engine design, and fuel-delivery systems are certainly far better. Today’s efficiency and power outputs continue to amaze.
    Backup cameras, though not new, are among the most important.

    fuel injection, ABS, stability control, auto up/down power window switches, torque vectoring, regenerative braking on EVs (when blended well with physical brakes), (if we ever get it in the USA) matrix LED headlights

    The first thing that comes to mind is the hardware/software bridge that enables Carplay and Android Auto. I can’t imagine a daily driver without those any more. Second is modern engine technologies. Direct injection, software, modern turbo-charged engines, etc. Third is the engineering that goes into modern car unibody structures. I don’t love the increase in mass but cars are both hugely strong and stiff which benefits safety, handling and the solid feeling of cars today.

    I’m not a fan of modern car complexity and feature creep. Cars have become far too expensive and heavy as a result.

    I have improved my 61 year old car with the following: LED headlights, LED brake/turn signal lights, LED parking lights , electronic turn signal flasher, fully electronic ignition. These are all safety related items that can be easily reversed for originality. I also see a need for a back up side view camera. Do not see a real need for disc brakes. Drum for street use are very adequate. Track use I would upgrade. I have mixed feelings about fuel injection. Carburetors work fine if you or someone you know has the skill set to set them up and maintain them. The problem with this and a lot of old school equipment is that the expertise is disappearing. This opens up the door for more new technology, whether its better or not. My car has been at the dealership for three weeks with a no start issue. No where to plug their computer into. Its not a repair issue, its a project. I have to admit that OBD is a good new technology.

    I’ll put an end to this real fast as far as “tech” goes……………..Hi-Lo headlight switch moved from foot activated to a stalk on the left side of the steering column.

    ………..that’s all the tech we need.

    As for NEW technology, it has to be CarPlay. First thing I want on a rental car.

    We have to go back a ways to consider electronic fuel injection to be “new”, but it really makes my 1991 BMW reliable.

    Something not mentioned yet is E-Z Pass (or similar). There will always be tolls, it seems, but I remember once misplacing the turnpike ticket inside my dash. No, I didn’t hold up the line; I had to tear it apart on the side of the plaza.

    Blind spot monitors and backup cameras (I’m one of these blasted millennials, so abs, traction control, and fuel injection are all a given.) Having those two is like having extra eyes without having the intrusion of “driver assistance” features.

    Agree 100%. Every time I back my 2007 Frontier with a cap, I worry there’s something back there I can’t see with my mirrors. Same with blind spot warning: despite having all 3 mirrors adjusted properly, there are still hiding spots, especially for small, low cars and motorcycles.

    Not impressed with the “auto” headlight dimmer. Can’t over-ride the auto function.. A real PITA!

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