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Little Innovations That Went A Long Way

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  • Little Innovations That Went A Long Way

    I am not talking about game changing things that became mandatory like seatbelts, what I had in mind are the smaller things that were introduced by a manufacturer and went on to become commonplace on all cars and taken for granted.

    I got thinking about this on my morning commute when exiting a roundabout and a simple touch of the indicator stalk gave me 3 flashes of the indicator which is just the perfect amount. The first time I encountered this function was on an E60 5 series in the early noughties and thought it was amazing, now it's just expected. Another I thought of was having side repeaters integrated into the wing mirrors, think this was started by Merc and now seems all cars have it, probably makes sense if you are running a wiring loom for the electric mirror anyway rather than having to also run a wire to the front wing.

    I am sure there are lots of other innovations that caught on, and probably some that didn't.

  • #2
    The E60 was one of the first I remember the indicators on too, and it used to drive me mad. Hard to imagine not having it nowadays though.

    Daytime running lights is a good example, particularly in a city where there are cars everywhere. It really helps you to see which are moving vs parked at a glance while there's loads of other stuff going on around you.

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    • #3
      side mirrors that tilt downwards when you reverse, I really miss those in my current car.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Username View Post
        The E60 was one of the first I remember the indicators on too, and it used to drive me mad. Hard to imagine not having it nowadays though.

        Daytime running lights is a good example, particularly in a city where there are cars everywhere. It really helps you to see which are moving vs parked at a glance while there's loads of other stuff going on around you.
        Yep DRL’s are a good example, think they originated with Volvo

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Conorw89 View Post
          side mirrors that tilt downwards when you reverse, I really miss those in my current car.
          Good one, very important in the fight against kerb rash

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          • #6
            "teardrop wipe" wipers, where they give an extra pass automatically a few seconds after you stop using the screen washer.
            www.PatHoranMotors.com

            E39 M5, Mk2 GTI, Mk1 GTI, E30, Caddy vanyadda yadda

            Stupid questions are better than stupid mistakes.

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            • #7
              cruise control - driving without it is so hard to keep either to, or below the speed limit without even noticing. and that foot cramp on a long journey.
              Grand in fun/non daily cars, but its the first thing id look for in any daily
              looking back now, I think that maybe, every now and again, I should have braked a little earlier

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              • #8
                'Telescopic' steering wheel adjustment (ya know, the ones that you can pull closer to you instead of just up and down).

                The difference this makes to you being able to have a good, comfortable driving position is massive.

                Funny thing is, I've actually showed this to people on their own cars. Some of them didn't realise they had it despite owning the car for yeeears.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by derekjohn View Post

                  Yep DRL’s are a good example, think they originated with Volvo
                  Could everyone not have agreed to put them on the back of cars also?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KevinC View Post

                    Could everyone not have agreed to put them on the back of cars also?
                    A huge car-industry own-goal! Drivers going around at night thinking their lights are on and their rears in complete darkness like some 20 year old NCT-dodger!!

                    Your can't even put them straight with a flashyflash cos as far as they are concerned the lights are on!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KevinC View Post

                      Could everyone not have agreed to put them on the back of cars also?
                      Peugeot did.
                      Absolutely CANNOT understand why other manufacturers don't.
                      www.PatHoranMotors.com

                      E39 M5, Mk2 GTI, Mk1 GTI, E30, Caddy vanyadda yadda

                      Stupid questions are better than stupid mistakes.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mark2 View Post
                        cruise control - driving without it is so hard to keep either to, or below the speed limit without even noticing. and that foot cramp on a long journey.
                        Grand in fun/non daily cars, but its the first thing id look for in any daily
                        I've never owned a car with cruise, but my mums surprisingly high spec (by Irish standards) Clio has it and I got a chance to try it out properly bring it back to her which involved a decent run down the N9.

                        I gotta say that apart from evening runs on empty motorway, it feels kinda useless on Irish motorways. No matter what speed you set it to 120, 110, getting down to 100kph there's always some eejit tipping on at 80kph and a line of people overtaking them at a snails pace... and on top of that, always one lad in an Audi/Golf that just thinks he's a total badass stuck in the overtaking lane at 125...

                        I found the speed limiter functional more useful which I used on a lot of those long 60kph fish in a barrel straights around the north Dublin area.

                        I think unless it's intelligent radar cruise that keeps distance behind the car in front and then speeds back up when there's nothing in front of you, basic cruise is a teensy bit frustrating to use here.
                        https://www.instagram.com/diecast_1_64/

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                        • #13
                          Power steering was a game changer. Air conditioning is also a must have. Galvanised steel car bodies is also a major breakthrough. Who here remembers seeing almost brand new cars rusting back in the 70's /80's? After a few years many of them were fit for scrap.

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                          • #14
                            Electric handbrakes...... oh... whoops

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Aontroim View Post
                              'Telescopic' steering wheel adjustment (ya know, the ones that you can pull closer to you instead of just up and down).

                              The difference this makes to you being able to have a good, comfortable driving position is massive.

                              Funny thing is, I've actually showed this to people on their own cars. Some of them didn't realise they had it despite owning the car for yeeears.
                              Yep agreed on this, for a long time many cars seemed to only have the “rake” feature

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