Sunday, 8 November 2009

Volkswagen get too clever

I occasionally drive my wife's VW Golf Plus, and I'm always impressed by the cleverness that has been employed in little subtleties that make the driving experience so much better. For example, the irritating warning beep when the front seat passenger hasn't put their seatbelt on only starts once you start driving.

My favourite little clevernesses are around the windscreen wipers. I love the way that, if you've got the wipers on and go into reverse it automatically starts the rear wiper. And best of all is the way that the wipers go from continuous to intermittant when you stop, then go back to continuous when you set off again. I almost want to keep stopping and starting, Homer Simpson like, just to experience it.

But there's one little cleverness around the wipers that doesn't work. If you wash the windscreen, it automatically does a burst of wiping to clear it. Fine - most cars do. But then, a few seconds, later, it does an extra single wipe, presumably intended to catch any drips. But what it really does is smear the windscreen, because it has just about dried. Every single time.

Somehow it's comforting that German technical excellence can still slip up this way.

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