Top 5 Car Tech Flops
5 - Hidden Headlights. I put these down at #5 because they did have a good run -- what would my Cougar be without them? But theyÃ¯Â¿Â½re the mark of a dated car today when automakers build sleek, high tech headlight clusters into the body and are all too happy to avoid the complication and cost of anything that pops up via a motor and hinge in this electronic era. 4 - Digital instrument panels. These first flourished in the late 70Ã¯Â¿Â½s and were pretty much gone by the 90Ã¯Â¿Â½s. Horrid looking digit displays that were hard to read, expensive to repair and looked like something you made from a kit. A slew of Lincolns, Caddies and even Aston Martins mistook this look for luxury. Today, its descendant, the LCD panel, is taking over. 3 - Brake by Wire. Braking is a pretty basic thing in a car, you like it to work. Mercedes Ã¯Â¿Â½SensotronicÃ¯Â¿Â½ system replaced pumping of hydraulic fluid by the pedal with a digital sensor in the pedal that told a computer how to smoothly apply the brakes. Except when it didnÃ¯Â¿Â½t. Mercedes killed the system after 4 years of freaking people out. Today electrohydraulic braking is common as part of stablity and lane control tech. 2 - Cylinder Management. CadillacÃ¯Â¿Â½s V8-6-4 engine that could drop down to 6 or even 4 cylinders for fuel economy. Cool, except it was 1981 and the technology was a mess of vintage electronics and mechanical solenoids that moved engine parts around on the fly, resulting in a car that bucked and surged, all the way back to the dealer. Today, cylinder deactivation is back thanks to much more sophisticated fuel injection. 1 - iDrive. When BMWÃ¯Â¿Â½s knob and screen interface debuted in the early 2000Ã¯Â¿Â½s it was infuriating. The screen layout was clunky and could only be driven by this knob with silly haptic feedback but no back button. It made you beg for a touchscreen. It was the most universally hated car tech IÃ¯Â¿Â½ve encountered. Look whoÃ¯Â¿Â½s laughing now as almost every car has some kind of human machine interface and iDrive is one of the best.