If stuck in the mud or snow, one could just whip the plugs out with the spanner in the toolkit, and then put her in gear and very gently wind her out of the hole by hand. Also solved the problem of starting the engine with a discharged battery of course.
Yes, I’ve had that big red thing that looks like something from 1970s space invader game flash at me twice when it got confused. I’ve dialled down it’s sensitivity to nothing. Did you make the mistake I did and tick the “Light Assist” option? It specialises in dipping your lights just when you need main beam most and in generating interesting light patterns on the road ahead to conceal hazards. It’s turned off permanently too. .
I guess the main conclusion one can draw is that it is all about the quality of implementation.
Myself and a pal drove a Tesla S from Amsterdam to London a few years ago. He’s now just bought a Tesla 3 but I haven’t driven it yet. I’m a bit uncomfortable with the totally hands off mode. A million lines of code outsourced to the lowest bidder doesn’t fill me with confidence.
On the other hand, the Tiguan and Merc’s adaptive cruse control is brilliant. The Tiguan’s “Lane assist” occasionally tries to wrestle the wheel from you but the trailer assist is a hoot. I had to buy a small trailer to try it out. And I never get bored of letting them parallel park themselves. Truth is I’ve always been rubbish at parallel parking.
Yes, that’s true. I find the VW is economically better than the Merc which seems to have stuff scattered all over the dash. Though you can see the cost accountants impact in the vW more. An example is they keyless opening doesn’t work on the rear doors. That was a nice saving of €20 on a €50k car
You’d like my Morgan Robert. No antilock, no traction control, drum brakes on the back (which I suspect are seized most of the time), the front suspension needs regular lubrication (as I do myself). Not even a radio and obviously no windows, only sidescreens and roof that leaks.
Interesting reading gentlemen. It all reassures me that my policy of avoiding modern cars and buying pre- circa 1995 in very good condition is a sound one.
It’s more fun as well.
I suppose time will tell whether a car driving can be safer than a human. I haven’t yet been driven by a Tesla but I find it interesting.
The one thing that I would not give up…
Going on from that decent traction control can be a life saver as well - did not appreciate quite how slippery a left hander was last Monday, and went round a smidge too fast - not ludicrous speeds, just a bit heavy. I felt the car start to understeer as I got to the apex and then found myself staring at a nice new Range Rover coming the other way - I reckon I’d have been fine without it there but honestly wasn’t sure I’d be able to miss it.
The traction control obviously realised that the car wasn’t pointing the way I’d asked about the same time I did but was faster at doing something about it - there was a sensation of the car doing “stuff” and that was all the drama I needed to worry about.
The system can brake individual wheels and alter the front/rear power distribution - which is just not possible from the driver’s seat, however good you are at cadence braking.
Pain in the arse if you actually want to slide round a corner though (not that I’m that good a driver).
Yes, I’ve had a couple of moments in the Morgan. It weighs nothing, has reasonably wide (high profile ) tyres but puts outs out a bit over 200BHP. Smoothly it has to be said but I’ve had a weave or two in the wet. I wouldn’t be comfortable at all driving around a wet and greasy UK roundabout with spilt diesel.
It’s a sunny day car really. Though I’ve had to press on in torrential rain on the autoroute a couple of times - the little wipers are a joke but as there is as almost much rain coming down the inside of the windscreen as the outside it doesn’t really matter.
Then there was the time when I sheltered from a shower by scrunching down under the tonneau and closing the centre zip from the inside with my fingernail. I hadn’t realised that the zip fob on the outside had a ratchet so I couldn’t open it again, I was “locked in”. Luckily I keep a Swiss army knife in the glovebox.
Now that would indeed have been a good moment for Candid Camera.
How stupid can one get ?
Oh I think we have all done daft things in the past at one time or another.
By the way; I imagine that the Morgan is great fun when larruping down a country road on a sunny day. Then there is the exhaust note of course. Just sheer indulgent pleasure, as well as being able to show off one’s skill at double declutching for second at the final approach to a hairpin.
I’ve never owned cars that had all the fancy “extras”. When I drove automatic wagons, the only thing I ever found of any real use was the “hill-start assister”, especially when running at full load. Traction control was also handy when delivering/collecting from farms.
Just as an antidote to all the tales of the modernity of today’s motor cars…
I still have a Merc C220CDI from 1999, that’s been sat in my garden for a little over 5 years.
Sunday I put the tractor battery on it; thinking I’d have a laugh trying to start it.
It turned over 4 times & started…ABS warning light came on, fuel gauge needle flicked up & back down…but it started & ran.
Five years with not being started once; FFS !!!
Vorsprung durch Technik, as they say in Germany
By the way John, that ‘Lane Assist’ you mentioned earlier is another piece of annoying superfluous kit for those of us in the habit of looking where we are going, and who have long since mastered the art of using the steering wheel to maintain our trajectory within our chosen lane.
So there we are following ‘Hank’ in his huge pick-up truck down a fairly bendy two way road in Virginia. Of course ‘Hank’ knows very well that the huge wardrobe in the back of his truck is precariously balanced and only secured by a couple of bits of string, so he is doing a cautious 35 mph, and we wish to overtake. Therefore, one needs to take a position on the crown of the road in order to obtain a view of oncoming traffic, and it is at this time that the Lane Assist sees the center white dotted line and activates a visual warning on the dashboard. Needing to maintain our view of the road ahead we ignore it, and so then it sounds an audible alarm which is very disconcerting to one’s previously dozing passenger, and smartly pushes the steering to the right which is disconcerting to the driver. So in order to overtake we have to ignore the noise, fight the steering wheel, and away we go, only to find of course that the blasted car repeats the warning and nudging process when one attempts to regain one’s correct side of the road. To be honest, I can easily see this allegedly ‘helpful’ system actually being the cause of an accident were there to be an inexperienced driver behind the wheel.
Needless to say really, but that particular rental car was returned with said system turned off.
Back in the real world people drive tired. They shouldn’t but they do, or they start off fresh enough but undertake overlong journeys, attention drifts and accidents are caused. Alerting a driver who might be drifting lanes is generally a good thing as not all drivers have your ability.
There’s an off button if you need it, and I believe (having never driven a car with one) that if you signal your lane departure by indicating they don’t whinge.
What you say is true, but I do think that it would be better to provide a system that discourages the activity rather than facilitating it. Perhaps a system that gives an ever more frequent verbal encouragement to stop and rest after two hours continuous driving, starts to reduce the maximum speed available after three hours, and becomes really annoying with substantially lower max speed after four hours.
Usually there is not actually an easily accessible off button for the Lane Assist (not in the US anyway), but rather one has to go through quite a lengthy process in the ‘settings’ section of the vehicle handbook, often using a touch screen that may or may not work correctly.
That sounds worse
I came across this passage online (quoting Autocar, I believe)
So, there might not be any choice in the matter soon.
In fact, wasn’t automatic mandatory GPS based enforcement of speed limits coming in from 2022 - at that point I’ll be firmly joining Robert in grumbling about the “nanny state not allowing drivers any autonomy”.