Automotive Advancements

The worst innovation with automobiles in the past few years is the automatic sliding side door on mini-vans. Doors have existed for a long time and people have pretty much figured out how to use them. Then Honda (I’ll blame them, since their mini-van is the first place I saw it, but I’m not sure who actually did it) came along and made the door operate by a button for convenience. The thing is, if you use it like a normal door, you break it! If you continue pulling on the handle to open it, you start pulling against the motor and wreck it. Was it really that hard to slide a piece of metal along a track rather than introduce a whole new level of complexity that confuses normal door operators and adds a whole new level of danger for people with hands or other things that can be crushed in the magic new kind of door? The door had a standard user interface that everyone understood, don’t change it!

Then, another feature which I also blame Honda for, since they all do it: the side seat belt in the rear will not work in the center seat belt receptacle! If you try to plug it in, it simply slides back out, then you have to dig into the seat to find the other receptacle that fell under the seat to try that one, assuming you didn’t just give up after it first popped out. How does this feature make any sense? Someone thought “Here’s a device we have that is meant to save lives if used properly, lets make it so two thirds of the rear passengers have only a 50 percent chance of being able to successfully use the device.”