E90Post
 


GT Haus
 
BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BIMMERPOST Universal Forums > General Automotive (non-BMW) Talk + Photos/Videos > Chris Harris Asks If Technology Making Cars Worse



Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      06-30-2012, 10:14 AM   #1
Levi
Brigadier General
 
Levi's Avatar
 
Drives: Alfa Romeo
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Prague

Posts: 3,296
iTrader: (0)

Chris Harris Asks If Technology Making Cars Worse

BIMMERPOST
     Featured on BIMMERPOST.com
Quote:
Cars are getting more complex with every new generation. But are they also becoming worse to drive? Let us know what you think.

Levi is offline   Czech_Republic
0
Reply With Quote
      06-30-2012, 11:26 AM   #2
GammaZeta
Captain
 
Drives: 1
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Ma

Posts: 856
iTrader: (1)

For the purist...yes.

3 pedals are becoming extinct.

All of the new technology is the equivalent of using cheat codes and hacks in a video game to get through it. Sure, you may have cleared the level in record time, but why even bother buying and playing the game if there is no challenge to it?

I forget which Top Gear review it was, but they said a regular driver could get the car to go around the track within 1 second of the lap time set by a professional driver.

Technology is great for an every day driver. It makes it more fuel efficient, comfortable, easier to drive, safer and smoother. But that's the problem. I didn't buy a weekend car to feel like an every day driver.

You can also compare it to the old style wooden roller coasters to the newer all steel coasters. The new steel coasters are faster, smoother and thrilling. The old wooden coasters were bumpy, fast and just as thrilling but in a different way. Steel coasters are all about speed, wooden coasters are all about the experience.
GammaZeta is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      06-30-2012, 12:06 PM   #3
MisterSkiMask
Lieutenant Colonel
 
Drives: I Can not say
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: you must not know

Posts: 1,940
iTrader: (0)

In a word, yes.

But it also allows your wife to go to the store in a 500hp sedan....
MisterSkiMask is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      06-30-2012, 12:47 PM   #4
Soorena
Captain
 
Drives: M3 6MT
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Paris

Posts: 836
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
From 1899 to 2006, No. After that, Yes.
Soorena is offline   No_Country
0
Reply With Quote
      06-30-2012, 01:14 PM   #5
GammaZeta
Captain
 
Drives: 1
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Ma

Posts: 856
iTrader: (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soorena View Post
From 1899 to 2006, No. After that, Yes.
I would even push it to 2009 for most cars. Even the Carrera GT was still a manual at that time. If Porsche made the CGT now, you can forget 3 pedals.

I think the "green" movement, and resulting government regulations, really did a number on cars.
GammaZeta is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      06-30-2012, 03:36 PM   #6
Year's_End
RWD only.
 
Year's_End's Avatar
 
Drives: '08 E92 335i
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: St. Pete, FL

Posts: 12,288
iTrader: (0)

Not at all. People these days glorify old cars of the past. As enthusiasts, we have a massive selection of cost-effective performance automobiles to choose from.

These are the main threats that modern technology impose on the enthusiast crowd:
-Increased weight (from added airbags and chassis reinforcement)
-Heavier implementation of electronic safety nets (STM, TSC, preventative braking, etc.)
-Electric power sources replacing traditional sources (EPS, hybrid powertrains)
-Advanced transmissions replacing manuals (DCT, torque converter and wet-clutch automatics, CVTs, and SMGs)
-Adjustable suspensions (magnetic/electric) are usually a hit or miss. A good suspension usually came straight out of the factory.

The benefits from these same 'threats':
-The added airbags and chassis reinforcements improve actual safety during impact exponentially, and improved torsional rigidity means better performance
-You can disable most safety nets on performance cars
-EPS is getting better with each new model and generation. It's also more precise and steering effort is usually more consistent (if less natural), plus it has fuel efficiency gains
-'Manumatics' are becoming fine-tuned in high end cars. Response times are fractions of what they used to be. Many transmissions will hold gear to redline. They're usually more efficient now thanks to added gears and the ability to quickly upshift. They can also be programmed to add 'slam' and 'soul' into shifts.
-Adjustable suspensions have added a large amount of multiple-personality to cars, lending them Jeckyll/Hyde characteristics.

Lets not forget that engineers are constantly pushing the edge with traditional fuel sources; we're seeing higher and higher compression ratios, improved F/I throttle response, more linear power curves, and across-the-board improved fuel efficiency.
__________________
E92 335i: Space Grey|Coral Red|Aluminum Trim

Future Ride: 2015 Mustang GT Premium |Guard|401A|PP|Recaros|6MT
Year's_End is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      07-01-2012, 05:49 AM   #7
Levi
Brigadier General
 
Levi's Avatar
 
Drives: Alfa Romeo
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Prague

Posts: 3,296
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Year's_End View Post
Not at all. People these days glorify old cars of the past. As enthusiasts, we have a massive selection of cost-effective performance automobiles to choose from.

These are the main threats that modern technology impose on the enthusiast crowd:
-Increased weight (from added airbags and chassis reinforcement)
-Heavier implementation of electronic safety nets (STM, TSC, preventative braking, etc.)
-Electric power sources replacing traditional sources (EPS, hybrid powertrains)
-Advanced transmissions replacing manuals (DCT, torque converter and wet-clutch automatics, CVTs, and SMGs)
-Adjustable suspensions (magnetic/electric) are usually a hit or miss. A good suspension usually came straight out of the factory.

The benefits from these same 'threats':
-The added airbags and chassis reinforcements improve actual safety during impact exponentially, and improved torsional rigidity means better performance
-You can disable most safety nets on performance cars
-EPS is getting better with each new model and generation. It's also more precise and steering effort is usually more consistent (if less natural), plus it has fuel efficiency gains
-'Manumatics' are becoming fine-tuned in high end cars. Response times are fractions of what they used to be. Many transmissions will hold gear to redline. They're usually more efficient now thanks to added gears and the ability to quickly upshift. They can also be programmed to add 'slam' and 'soul' into shifts.
-Adjustable suspensions have added a large amount of multiple-personality to cars, lending them Jeckyll/Hyde characteristics.

Lets not forget that engineers are constantly pushing the edge with traditional fuel sources; we're seeing higher and higher compression ratios, improved F/I throttle response, more linear power curves, and across-the-board improved fuel efficiency.
However the MP4-12C did not win any comparision test against the 458 Italia.
Levi is offline   Czech_Republic
0
Reply With Quote
      07-02-2012, 07:23 AM   #8
ManiacGT
Major
 
ManiacGT's Avatar
 
Drives: Z4 sDrive 35i
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Manchester, UK

Posts: 1,308
iTrader: (0)

Send a message via MSN to ManiacGT
Good to drive.. bad for reliability! So many things in modern cars, so much to go wrong.. and it does go wrong!
__________________
Black Sapphire BMW Z4 sDrive35i Mods: HiFi Tweeters Stubby LED Halos & Front Indicators DVDInMotion SmartTop 313 BMW Performance Alloys LCI Repeaters http://goo.gl/PF4nSz
ManiacGT is offline   United Kingdom
0
Reply With Quote
      07-02-2012, 07:50 AM   #9
Diver
Colonel
 
Diver's Avatar
 
Drives: Black '12 135i DCT PPK Msport
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Texas

Posts: 2,703
iTrader: (0)

My view is technology is a response to government regulations. In the late 1960's pollution controls became a requirement on cars sold in the US. Horsepower ratings and fuel efficiency plummeted. This was followed by fuel efficiency standards in response to the 1970's oil embargo and the phase out of leaded gasoline as a public health measure. The latter also allowed improved pollution control in the form of catalytic converters.

Automotive technology stayed in the dark ages until after several years of computerized engine controls electronic port fuel injection started to show up on production cars. 1992 was a watershed year as it marked the introduction of the LT1 V8 in the Corvette. That was also the beginning of the horsepower wars.

Today the real threat is unreasonable regulation of fuel efficiency because policy makers have elevated reducing carbon emissions to a religion. The only cars in production today that can meet the proposed 2025 US fuel efficiency standards are, electric, plug in hybrid and full hybrids like the Toyota Prius. These vehicles are purpose built for efficiency. They are too heavy and slow to be fun to drive.

The handwriting is on the wall. Look at the new active hybrid 3. It is $6500 more and 300 lbs heavier than a 335i. It manages to accelerate almost as well, but handling is likely to be compromised. Even assuming a 50% improvement in fuel efficiency overall it will take 10 years to recover the extra cost and then the vehicle will need a costly replacement lithium battery. By the way, nobody knows how to dispose of the spent lithium and the environmental consequences of manufacturing these batteries are not accounted for at the vehicle level.

There is also a proposal to require event data recorders in all cars sold in the US. These are presently only in cars made by the "big three" plus Toyota and its sub brands. Big brother will be watching you soon in your BMW.
__________________
Diver is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      07-02-2012, 08:44 AM   #10
ATX78703
Major
 
Drives: 2014 335i
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Austin, TX

Posts: 1,002
iTrader: (0)

I agree with Year's End for the most part - my biggest beef is that cars (esp BMW) are becoming "over-engineered". Like we don't need 9 different combinations of driving modes. Just build it with a great factory suspension + great factory steering right out the box. I don't care if its hydraulic vs. EPS or adjustable magnetic vs. double wish vs. multilink vs. air matic. Just make it good.

Just don't make me like program 4 diff variables on an "M" button and then read an instruction manual to pull it up and then it goes away every time I turn the ignition off.
__________________
2014 335i RWD: ZMM, ZDA, ZDH, ZPP, ZTP, 2NH, 2TB, 5DL; Z4A MPPK; AW ext / VB int

2014 ML350: P01, R33, 297, 319, 846, 864, 889, 996; LB ext / AB int
ATX78703 is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      07-02-2012, 08:48 AM   #11
Robin_NL
S0THPAW
 
Robin_NL's Avatar
 
Drives: AW 1M , Assetto Corsa
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: The Netherlands, Europe

Posts: 4,687
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Levi View Post
However the MP4-12C did not win any comparision test against the 458 Italia.
Nail + head.

Cheers
Robin
Robin_NL is offline   Netherlands
0
Reply With Quote
      07-02-2012, 09:01 AM   #12
Eugene-TAIWAN
Brigadier General
 
Eugene-TAIWAN's Avatar
 
Drives: E92 M3 Coupe
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Taiwan

Posts: 3,112
iTrader: (4)

yes yes yes
__________________

Past: Gintani stage3 M3
present: Porsche 993RWB, 964RS America,996 cupcar, 964 turbo 3.6, 991C4S, i3 in September
Eugene-TAIWAN is offline   Taiwan
0
Reply With Quote
      07-02-2012, 09:28 AM   #13
SamS
Brigadier General
 
SamS's Avatar
 
Drives: 2013 ActiveHybrid 3
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Dallas, TX

Posts: 4,528
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ManiacGT View Post
Good to drive.. bad for reliability! So many things in modern cars, so much to go wrong.. and it does go wrong!
Ever had to keep an '80s Chevy car or truck running for more than a year straight?
SamS is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      07-02-2012, 10:18 AM   #14
rmani
Buys too many toys...
 
rmani's Avatar
 
Drives: 2000 Ferrari 360
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: NJ

Posts: 287
iTrader: (0)

Send a message via AIM to rmani
with the death of the true manual yes. technology has ruined the drive.
__________________
2000 Ferrari 360
2004 Yamaha R1
2003 X5 4.6is (Sold)
1995 M3 (Sold)
rmani is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      07-02-2012, 10:20 AM   #15
Nang Vann
Lieutenant Colonel
 
Nang Vann's Avatar
 
Drives: E46 M3, R35 GT-R
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Australia

Posts: 1,519
iTrader: (0)

Definately gotta get me an E46 M3 after watching this
__________________
Moving on up!
Nang Vann is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      07-02-2012, 10:33 AM   #16
E90 87ss
Lieutenant
 
E90 87ss's Avatar
 
Drives: 325i, W212 AMG
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: NJ/Philly

Posts: 554
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SamS View Post
Ever had to keep an '80s Chevy car or truck running for more than a year straight?
x2...

As far as gearboxes:

DD: auto/semi automatic
Weekend car: Manual
Track car: DCT or some other variation (Rather be fast)

If anybody has driven a high hp/torque car in the rain without TC they know how difficult it is for you to pull out on the road with oncoming traffic (RWD).

Aside from the rain I love not having electronic nannies. However, in many ways I do appreciate diagnostic sensors despite the fact that they fail quite frequently. Tuning on newer car is much easier than tuning a blow through carburetor with a supercharger or a regular carb... Many of the old school muscle guys drop LS engines into their cars for this very reason... Reliability with newer cars is much better...


For that raw thrill of driving a new "real car" than simply buy a new car, strip and part out the car (you can make quite a bit back), and swap whatever drivetrain you want in it... After all if you are truly a car person you would have no problem doing this, it's not like any manufacturer ever made a perfect car that fit everyone's taste or driving style... I'm still a huge fan on of modern technology for features such as: HUD, adaptive headlights, keyless go, and rain sensing wipers...

Last edited by E90 87ss; 07-03-2012 at 04:54 PM.
E90 87ss is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      07-02-2012, 10:58 AM   #17
DrivenByE30
Colonel
 
DrivenByE30's Avatar
 
Drives: '12 F30 Lux 335i 6MT
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: OC - SoCal

Posts: 2,803
iTrader: (0)

Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterSkiMask View Post
In a word, yes.

But it also allows your wife to go to the store in a 500hp sedan....
The question is: why would any lady need to haul around town going grocery shop in a 500hp sedan??
.... and drive at 10 below speed limit !?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Soorena View Post
From 1899 to 2006, No. After that, Yes.
Technology is making cars less engaging... less fun... less pleasurable and/or less rewarding...

but it's not making it worse...

Last edited by DrivenByE30; 07-02-2012 at 11:15 AM.
DrivenByE30 is offline   France
0
Reply With Quote
      07-02-2012, 11:01 AM   #18
Maestrob4u
New Member
 
Drives: 2012 Ford C-Max
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: London

Posts: 14
iTrader: (0)

Mine is just a brief quip and a stab at BMW. Technology has detracted from the driving experience and the ability to enhance ones own. I speak of BMW's new habit of making it extremely difficult to tune the ECU's on their modern engines (usually done to protect the model above in the range, or restrict us to their COSTLY upgrades). The S63 twin turbo V8 is a prime example.

That said, with improvements in technology identifying issues with your vehicle has become a lot easier and in some ways, less costly.

I would also like to add how disgusted I am with the fact that the next M3 (well M4 for the coupe as BMW have decided to copy Audi with the excessive market segmenting approach) & M5 with not be blessed with the transmission that elevated them to the status we now worship them at. Technology has almost, but not quite yet, murdered the manual transmission.

You cannot beat stirring the stick for driving involvement. No push button, trigger/ lever pulling can ever replicate or replace it. And finally to be crude F*** your "this much of a millisecond" shift times. It's the gourmet meal approach vs the fast food approach and I know which one I prefer.

I'm sure there are plenty of emotionless reasons in favour of the two pedal approach, this is my personal opinion which, I believe many other individuals share.
Maestrob4u is offline   United Kingdom
0
Reply With Quote
      07-02-2012, 11:05 AM   #19
AlterZgo
First Lieutenant
 
Drives: 2010 BMW 535i 6MT M-Sport
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Orange County, CA

Posts: 388
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by GammaZeta View Post
I would even push it to 2009 for most cars. Even the Carrera GT was still a manual at that time. If Porsche made the CGT now, you can forget 3 pedals.
I don't know about that. After all, Porsche did develop the 7 speed manual transmission for their latest 911. I think Porsche is a company that understands purists will always want a manual transmission and will continue to improve the technology.

They are a rather stubborn company when it comes to tradition/heritage, i.e. insists on pushing the rear engine platform as their top end model despite the fact that the mid-engined Boxster/Cayman actually handles better.
AlterZgo is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      07-02-2012, 11:23 AM   #20
Neph
Private First Class
 
Drives: 2010 328i E92, Sport, 6MT
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: ///Milky way

Posts: 194
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestrob4u View Post
Mine is just a brief quip and a stab at BMW. Technology has detracted from the driving experience and the ability to enhance ones own. I speak of BMW's new habit of making it extremely difficult to tune the ECU's on their modern engines (usually done to protect the model above in the range, or restrict us to their COSTLY upgrades). The S63 twin turbo V8 is a prime example.

That said, with improvements in technology identifying issues with your vehicle has become a lot easier and in some ways, less costly.

I would also like to add how disgusted I am with the fact that the next M3 (well M4 for the coupe as BMW have decided to copy Audi with the excessive market segmenting approach) & M5 with not be blessed with the transmission that elevated them to the status we now worship them at. Technology has almost, but not quite yet, murdered the manual transmission.

You cannot beat stirring the stick for driving involvement. No push button, trigger/ lever pulling can ever replicate or replace it. And finally to be crude F*** your "this much of a millisecond" shift times. It's the gourmet meal approach vs the fast food approach and I know which one I prefer.

I'm sure there are plenty of emotionless reasons in favour of the two pedal approach, this is my personal opinion which, I believe many other individuals share.
+100

the manual trans offers a relationship btwn driver and car which a soulless automatic/DCT/manumatic can NEVER touch.

the addition of unnecessary technology simply offers another layer of barriers between driver and car.

unfortunately, the rulemaking beuracrats and marketing/focus group leaders all the same transmission with all the same tech goodies - guess which ones?
Neph is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      07-02-2012, 12:00 PM   #21
ZMM_OMG
First Lieutenant
 
ZMM_OMG's Avatar
 
Drives: '01 325i
Join Date: May 2012
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Posts: 328
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
This was an excellent and timely discussion and I think they nailed it on a couple of key points:
  • Manufacturers seem to be substituting performance for driveability
  • The vast majority of people couldn't care less

The horsepower wars are in full effect. Shift once and blink twice and cars are bombing along at hyper-legal speeds. Joe and Jane Driver needn't worry though, because if they drive beyond their capabilities the car will send up a cacophony of warnings, apply the brakes, reduce power, and bring them neatly back in line so they'll live to terrorize another stretch of rush hour traffic without spilling so much as a drop of their Starbuck's coffee.

Perhaps that's a good thing though, because the vast majority of drivers could care less about things like progressive handling limits and steering feel. After all, steering feedback is just something that distracts people from the text message they were banging out. Regrettably, the trend is likely to continue because human beings are "maximizers". Need proof? Look at all the GLOWING reviews of the BR-Z and then consider the biggest complaint: lack of horsepower. It does 0 - 60 faster than my e46 fer Pete's sake.

In a quest to continually push an apathetic driving public from the perfectly capable car they have into the manufacturer's "latest and greatest", cars have become homogenized products that are expected to be all things to all people. At the end of the day, for whom should the manufacturers build cars? The 10 "every man" consumers who want more features and power, or the 1 enthusiast driver who wants 3 pedals and RWD? Exactly. So new cars have more doo-dads, more power, and more electronic nannies that make Joe Driver feel like an auto-x champ when he's running to the grocery store for diapers.
ZMM_OMG is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      07-02-2012, 12:27 PM   #22
flyinb501
Lieutenant
 
Drives: G35 Coupe, Dodge Ram
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Posts: 551
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diver View Post
My view is technology is a response to government regulations. In the late 1960's pollution controls became a requirement on cars sold in the US. Horsepower ratings and fuel efficiency plummeted. This was followed by fuel efficiency standards in response to the 1970's oil embargo and the phase out of leaded gasoline as a public health measure. The latter also allowed improved pollution control in the form of catalytic converters.

Automotive technology stayed in the dark ages until after several years of computerized engine controls electronic port fuel injection started to show up on production cars. 1992 was a watershed year as it marked the introduction of the LT1 V8 in the Corvette. That was also the beginning of the horsepower wars.

Today the real threat is unreasonable regulation of fuel efficiency because policy makers have elevated reducing carbon emissions to a religion. The only cars in production today that can meet the proposed 2025 US fuel efficiency standards are, electric, plug in hybrid and full hybrids like the Toyota Prius. These vehicles are purpose built for efficiency. They are too heavy and slow to be fun to drive.

The handwriting is on the wall. Look at the new active hybrid 3. It is $6500 more and 300 lbs heavier than a 335i. It manages to accelerate almost as well, but handling is likely to be compromised. Even assuming a 50% improvement in fuel efficiency overall it will take 10 years to recover the extra cost and then the vehicle will need a costly replacement lithium battery. By the way, nobody knows how to dispose of the spent lithium and the environmental consequences of manufacturing these batteries are not accounted for at the vehicle level.

There is also a proposal to require event data recorders in all cars sold in the US. These are presently only in cars made by the "big three" plus Toyota and its sub brands. Big brother will be watching you soon in your BMW.
You nailed it.
flyinb501 is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:09 PM.




e90post
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST