Cars suck, man
What better way to start off the new year than with a little rant.
I am not car aficionado, in fact, I am probably less interested in cars than the average person. As the tech bros have slowly crept into the automotive industry, I can’t help but feel like I’m witnessing a car crash in slow motion.
Cars are the Smart TVs of today
Have you tried shopping for a TV in the past 5 years? Actually, scratch that – have you used a “smart” TV in the past 5 years? – it’s awful. Sure, displays are getting better, but manufacturers insist on cramming bloatware and spyware, embellished in the worst UI imaginable, running on a processor designed for a smartwatch.
The Essential Smart TV Pooramid
Picture quality is at phenomenal levels, even on low-cost offerings, but those inky blanks come at the cost of compromised privacy and ad-infested UI.
So what do cars have to do with any of this? Every product that takes a concrete position in human dynamics, be it a TV, a fridge or a car, follows a relatively predictable evolution: it starts of limited but promising, gets meaningful upgrades, and eventually slides into into the valley of “enshittification”. Few are those who climb their way out of the shit-pit, fewer still are those who avoid it entirely.
100% science based chart
What’s so wrong with cars then?
We live in an era of peak automotive power, utility and luxury. Much like with TVs, we probably reached the first plateau of quality: image clarity, super thin displays, etc. Then we started getting things nobody asked for: frame rate interpolation (why God, why!?), insane image presets, automatic audio adjustments. I won’t talk about 3D TVs. Let’s just pretend that never happened and that drawer in your cabinet isn’t full of dusty 3D glasses that haven’t seen the light of day for the last decade.
Cars are entering the “frame-interpolation” era, the slippery slope into the loathed, anti-consumer, anti-logic Shit Pit.
Let’s just fire through this:
- Hiding critical/often-used buttons behind touchscreens for the sake of minimalism (and cost?)
- On that note, poor physical layout in general (genuinely thinking that you can rate cars’ on a “hazard-light-button-placement index”)
- YOUR LED LIGHTS ARE TOO BRIGHT GODDAMIT
- Cars are getting too big; why are manufacturers pushing “crossovers” and SUVs on consumers and why are consumers buying them? I could write pages on this point alone.
- Combine the two previous points for peak blindness
- “Low profile” rims/tyres/wheels/whatever: cost a fortune and more prone to getting scratched
- Subscription style plans trying to creep their way in
- ALL the privacy violations you could think of
- Rubbish software and UI all round: it’s 2024 and I dread it every time I need to pair my phone to a car
- That weird glossy pastel paintwork that’s so popular all of a sudden (I’m allowed one subjective point on here, OK?)
The car of the future
I don’t think we’ve reached the depths of the brown ocean… yet. Who’s to blame here? Consumers? Manufacturers?
I know I sound like a luddite here but the same way I just want a good display from my TV, I want less from my car, not more.
I miss my 2005 Toyota Corolla 😢