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on the Panamera

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I think we can all agree that cars have improved. But some things, they just got wrong.
In many cases, those things make cars downright dangerous. If you cannot change a radio station without pulling over there is something wrong.
When lane departure prevention causes an accident, that is a problem.


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My wife's 2020 Prius has lane assist and blind spot. I like them both. If you use the turn signal, lane assist doesn't engage. If you drift out of your lane, it does. The blind spot has saved my once or twice. That being said, the button thing is annoying. I've said it here before, I got a Panamera loaner once and didn't see how to turn the radio on or off. Had to simply turn the volume all the way down. So, some tech good, other not so much.
I disengage most of the "safety" features. I find them intrusive at best and dangerous at worst. We have had the car for 2+ years and I still cannot figure out how to work the radio, the heater, or most other things. It is all touch screen and I cannot do anything without looking at the damn screen.
Leave aside actually doing the thing I want to do, just getting the screen on which I need to do the thing forces me to pull over. So I now turn everything off in the driveway. Then I put heat/ac on automatic. I link the car to my phone and look at my phone to do the radio. I still have eyes off the road, but it is much more limited and I know exactly where I am looking. I note that the truck always returns to defaults if i turn the thing off. So i never do - unless I must.

Once I spend a few minutes disabling and setting up, the truck is a really nice drive. Very comfortable for the 4+ hour trips to my parents' house for instance. But I I had to drive the thing every day, I might take a hammer to the thing it is so frustrating.

At one time there was button overload. Now we have gone 180 degrees. Almost no buttons just an unusable screen.

There are things that ARE very nice. The blind spot warning light on the side mirrors comes to mind. The back up camera as well - although I usually forget it is there and I do not see it because I am looking back. The rear end warning is mostly OK. Although on the highway, it is too sensitive. It has unexpectedly (and unnecessarily) engaged the brakes in morning commuter traffic. Scare the hell out of me all the time. The lane departure stuff is a real problem driving on the Merritt Parkway. That Parkway is narrow, winding and at points has little margin for error, the markings are not good and at some points there is a cement wall or railing right at the edge of the road, no brake down lane. For whatever reason, the lane departure "assist" tries to force me into the wall/railing. I am literally fighting to hold the car on the road. The dealer techs had no explanation. That was the FIRST thing disabled.
We put tape over the light sensor in the rear view mirror because the auto dim function was so aggressive it effectively blinded you to anything but headlights. At twilight, it simply made everything black - i assume because the contrast was not great enough. That was the second thing disabled.
I did the same on my E90 - what an improvement.

There are several more examples. Suffice it to say, i will be happy to return the Volvo in November. Not sure I will find a better choice though. I might "upgrade" to a 10+ year old car to avoid much of the tech crap.
on the Panamera
Boxsterra - 1 week ago
You can turn the stereo on and off by voice. But you have to prefix your command with the word "Porsche" and you have to pronounce it the correct American/English way, with one syllable.
Things that I have to do in a hurry I like done with traditional controls. Turn signals, lights, wipers. But the more esoteric items like power distribution displays or efficiency charts or maps I'm OK with being via touch screen.
The more you drive your learning of them and how to efficiently and safely activate them increases. I picked up my current car in 2019 and with no instructions beyond "show me just enough to set my destination" from the salesperson, drove home playing with the controls and over the next 6 hours I had learned all the electronic nannies and what they did and how to set them without distraction. 9 months in there are still things I haven't bothered to learn. This from someone who is 77+.

Fortunately there are buttons and knobs and stalks for the commonly used things. But there are still irritants like why do they put the "scan" button for the radio on the passenger side of the center display so it is hard to reach? I never use it unless on a trip (I'm to cheap to subscribe to a service like Sirius). And why can't it sense that my passenger is manipulating the Map functions and give her access to the full range of features of the Map function. OTOH, 5 buttons for the various cruise control and safety features now seems just right.

I wouldn't want to be handed a Tesla and set off on a trip though. There would be a long safety learning curve and all the distraction studies say there is a 1 second lag time for each screen interaction. Fine in a deserted interstate situation, not so much in urban cut and thrust driving.
One of the great features on my 2014 Honda Accord is the camera in the passenger side mirror. When you turn on the turn signal the view down the side to the rear shows on the radio display in the center of the dash. I also use it for parking. My partner also has it on her 2018 Civic.
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