New Car Gimmicks We Don’t Really Need

There’s no denying that car technology improvements can be a serious help and safety plus point, but there are also a number of smart features that are completely pointless, and in some cases just plain irritating. Here are some of the latest technology features being added to new cars that most people agree are not only unnecessary but drive the cost of cars up for no good reason.
CAMERAS INSTEAD OF SIDE MIRRORS: Regular old side mirrors are now being replaced by cameras. The side mirrors are now virtual screens located above the door handles inside the car. In reality, remembering to look at a camera is not something people naturally do, so they may not check them as often as they would normal side mirrors. Then there’s the glare, unreliability and poor image quality, as well as the issues they cause for drivers with limited eyesight. People say stick to side mirrors and they’ll forfeit the 3.8% aerodynamic efficiency Honda claims the cameras improve.

VIRTUAL REAR-VIEW MIRRORS: We’ve been using rear-view mirrors for about 120 years now, but now they’re being replaced with virtual rear-view mirrors. Nissan says the intelligent rear-view mirror provides “a clear view from a camera located on the rear of the vehicle.” That’s all well and good until the camera gets dirty, meaning the intelligent mirror may not display objects clearly. On the Polestar 4 there is no rear window, so the digital rear-view mirror is all you’ve got.

DYNAMIC SWEEPING INDICATOR LIGHTS: You have two turning options when. you drive: right or left. You move the steering wheel, the indicator light comes on, you turn — it’s that simple. Well, not anymore, because someone decided we need directional indicator lights. Now there’s dynamic sweeping indicator lights that beam the indicating light from right to left or left to right correspondingly to the direction you're indicating. It looks like a wave movement of light. In reality, it doesn’t improve the attention drawn to the indicator at all or help other drivers see which direction you’re indicating. If anything, it makes it more confusing. This is purely a cosmetic addition that no one needs or wants.

PUDDLE LIGHTS: There’s a growing trend for cars across all budgets to have “puddle lights” — lights that beam onto the floor around. These can be helpful with you unlock your car in a dark parking garage, or to help you avoid uneven surfaces getting in an out of your car in the dark. In reality, puddle lights just for aesthetic reasons that beam your car brand onto the floor only if you open the door are a bit of a redundant ego boost.

SWAROVSKI HEADLIGHTS: If you buy a luxury vehicle, you want it all. Luxury on the inside make sense, but exterior luxury can sometimes seem entirely pointless — like the Swarovski headlights on the new BMW i7. Called “BMW Crystal Headlights Iconic Glow,” it’s said to show “how heritage informs the future design and brings unprecedented light to the road.” Two pairs of crystal are located in the inner spotlight of each headlight and form part of the welcoming light show the driver gets as they walk up to the car. They might be radiant, but do they actually improve visibility? The BMW i7 starts at $127,980, and the Swarovski headlights are part of the reason.