Cars today come packed with technology and features, some of which seem more like flashy gimmicks than actual necessities. From rain-sensing wipers that can’t decide if it’s raining to overpriced car perfumes -it’s time to question whether these additions are improving our driving experience or just complicating it.

Rain Sensing Wipers

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Rain-sensing wipers have been in cars for a long time, but they still can’t beat the trusty manual switch. Systems like GM’s Rainsense and Tesla’s camera-based tech often get it wrong, leaving drivers to fix the mess. When it starts raining, the last thing you want is a battle with your wipers. Manual control is simple and reliable – you turn them on when you need them and off when you don’t. These fancy wipers try to be smart but end up making a simple task more complicated and frustrating.

Electronic Parking Brakes

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Remember the old parking brakes where you just pulled a lever or stepped on a pedal? They were easy to use and reliable. But now, many cars have electronic parking brakes that use buttons and switches. This might sound cool, but it actually makes things more complicated. There’s more wiring that can go wrong, and you lose the physical feel of securing your car. Plus, in emergencies, a mechanical brake is more reassuring. This is a case of adding tech where it’s not needed, making something simple into something unnecessarily complex.

Gesture Control


Gesture control in cars was supposed to make driving cooler and easier. The idea is you wave your hands, and the car does what you want. But in reality, it often doesn’t work right. The car might ignore your gestures or get confused and do the wrong thing. This can be really annoying, especially when you’re trying to concentrate on driving. Before this tech, we had buttons and knobs that worked just fine. They were straightforward and didn’t cause extra stress. Sometimes, newer isn’t better, especially when it makes things more complicated.

Social Media in Cars


Nowadays, car companies are putting social media and games on the dashboards. You might see features for TikTok or even games like Angry Birds. This sounds like fun, but it’s actually a bad idea for driving. Sure, they might turn off while you’re moving, but they’re still a big distraction. Driving should be about paying attention to the road, not checking social media or playing games. It’s important to keep the focus on safe driving, not on entertaining yourself with apps that have nothing to do with driving.

Mercedes’ Fancy Air Fresheners


Mercedes has a new feature in some cars – a luxury air freshener system. It lets you choose from different fancy scents. But when you think about it, it’s really just an expensive extra. Normal air fresheners do the same job for much less money. This system is all about showing off and doesn’t add anything important to your car. It’s a typical luxury item that costs a lot but isn’t really needed. You can keep your car smelling fresh without spending a fortune on fancy gadgets.

Shift Indicator Lights

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In cars with manual transmissions, there’s a new feature: shift indicator lights. These lights tell you when to change gears. But if you’re used to driving stick, you probably don’t need them. You can hear when your engine is ready to shift, or you can just look at the tachometer. These lights are just extra clutter on your dashboard. They don’t really help and seem to underestimate the driver’s skill. Driving a manual car is about feeling connected to the vehicle, and these lights just get in the way of that.

Oversized Touchscreens

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Massive touchscreens in cars might look high-tech, but they’re often more trouble than they’re worth. They replace simple, easy-to-use buttons with a distracting screen. While driving, trying to navigate through menus on a large touchscreen is a recipe for frustration and safety hazards. It’s far too easy to tap the wrong option accidentally. In driving, where focus is key, smaller, more manageable screens—or better yet, traditional buttons—make much more sense.

Fake Engine Noise

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Adding artificial engine noises to cars is a strange trend. It’s as if cars are trying to prove they’re something they’re not. This feature is particularly odd in non-performance vehicles, where authenticity in driving experience is valued. Real engine sounds provide honest feedback about how your car is performing. Fake engine noises are just unnecessary theatrics, offering no real benefit and potentially diminishing the genuine character of the vehicle.

Complex Infotainment Systems


Today’s infotainment systems in cars are becoming a labyrinth of features and menus. While technology can enhance the driving experience, these overly complicated systems do the opposite. Drivers are forced to navigate through a maze of options, which can be distracting and unnecessary. The goal should be to make driving safer and more enjoyable, not to overload the driver with complex interfaces that require too much attention away from the road.

Wi-Fi Hotspots


Wi-Fi hotspots in cars seem like a modern luxury, but they’re largely redundant. With most people already equipped with smartphones that have data plans, the need for an additional in-car Wi-Fi service is questionable. This feature often comes with extra costs and one more password to remember. In a world where simplicity is key, sticking to your phone’s data connection is usually more efficient and less cumbersome.

Automated Parking Systems

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Self-parking cars might sound futuristic and convenient, but they often don’t live up to the hype. These systems can be slow, and they struggle with complex parking scenarios where a human driver would have no issue. There’s a certain satisfaction and precision in parking your own car that these automated systems just can’t match. Plus, relying on technology for something as fundamental as parking can lead to overdependence on automation, potentially dulling driving skills.

Author: Abbie Clark

Title: Co-Founder

Expertise: Automotive Industry, Electric Vehicles, DIY Car Repairs


Abbie Clark is a writer, blog, and founder of RideRambler, Hey She Thrives, and The Bearded Bunch.

From clever car cleaning tricks to the freshest car features and reviews, Abbie loves sharing her knowledge on everything automotive. Outside of her time writing for her websites, you’ll find her fishing with her husband, deciphering her toddler’s babbling, or baking up something sweet.

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