18 February 2015
Both my Jeep Wrangler and Toyota iQ introduced usability improvements that have some unfortunate consequences.
When I switch my Jeep off, its headlights remain on for about 30 seconds. Presumably this was done under the assumption that youd appreciate the lights in a dark garage, as you make your way to the door.
While that may be nice for people in North America living in big homes with garages, it has had the following consequences for me:
The Toyota has a key-less entry system such that if Im simply in proximity of the car, and in possession of the key, the doors will automatically unlock if I attempt to open them. While nice, it makes confirming that the doors are actually locked a bit difficult. Heres how that usually works: I get out of the car and lock the driver-side door. Then I try to open the door, to confirm that its locked. But because Im physically near the car and in possession of the key, the door automatically opens. With a sigh, I lock it again, walk away from the car, and then ask somebody else to try to open the door. (My friends Volkswagen solves this problem by additionally retracting the side mirrors, allowing you to visually confirm that the car is locked.) The Toyota has some other irritations, like sounding the seatbelt alarm when I place my computer bag in the passenger seat. But I think thats more related to regulations, than attempts at improving automobile usability.