When I was a kid, if we wanted entertainment, my dad would take our family for a drive. We would hop in the car after dinner on those summer evenings, roll down the windows, and ask that he not go too slow so we could keep cool with the breeze coming in. If my mother drove, which she rarely did, I recall her struggling a bit to turn the wheel, as she went around sharp corners. While driving in the winter, everyone knew that you “pumped your brakes” so your wheels didn’t lock up, allowing you to steer.
Cars then typically had no power windows, no power brakes, no power steering, no anti-lock brakes, no electronic ignition, no DVD or BluRay players, no automatic tire pressure sensors, no computer, no shoulder belts, and no automatic seat adjustment buttons. Headlights didn’t pop on automatically at dusk. We didn’t have navigation systems, airbags, fuel injection systems, stability control systems, rear parking cameras, Bluetooth, remote starters, power locks, or electronic keys. Pretty much, we had 4 wheels to get us from point A to point B, and a family to share the trip with.
When did all this crap show up in our cars? I was looking at new cars not that long ago, and it dawned on me that if all I want is a basic car, I can’t even get one anymore. Just try finding a car with “crank down” windows! They are not available. It’s no wonder car loans have gone from 24 months to over 6 years, and most people have to lease! All this “stuff” in our cars is not free!
Unfortunately, much of it is mandated by laws and regulations. Are those laws really needed? Are they cost effective? Why can’t someone pass a law allowing us to simplify and power down?