“I have heard that Henry Ford I was so in love with his flat head V-8 that the company had to wait for him to die before they could drop that design.”
I believe that this is true. Similarly, they had to wait for him to die before they changed from his beloved transverse leaf spring suspensions, both front & rear.
Henry Ford was undoubtedly very smart, but he was uneducated, extremely superstitious, and highly bigoted.
I don’t recall exactly when Ford introduced six-cylinder engines in the '40s, but because Henry’s Model K (predecessor of the Model T) had a six and was a failure in the marketplace, he was averse to six cylinder engines. That is why the Model A went from a 4 cylinder directly to the V-8.
I think that the six (for trucks) was re-introduced before he died, but maybe they just slipped this one past him.
Ford was the last major auto maker to use hydraulic brakes, and this was because of crazy old Henry’s obsession with old technology. Since they did finally change over to hydraulics (in 1939, IIRC), this was obviously done before he died, but there must have been quite a battle w/in the company in order to get his approval for this needed change.
One of the biggest problems with the people who invent stuff like this is that they are such fan-boys of their own inventions that they don't seem to understand how terrible the old way was not, almost to the point of being delusional.
I won’t discount that happens but there is another possible explanation that I think is more plausible in this case: It’s cheaper to do it with softkeys- actually far, far cheaper than hardware keys. That makes it almost impossible to argue against with the bean counters.
If hand movements change settings what will happen when I play my Air Guitar ?
And the steering wheel drums ?
Heaven forbid a bee gets in the car–by the time you shoo it out, you’ve set the GPS to plot a course to Camden, NJ, and the language to Mongolian!
@VDCdriver The Ford 6 was introduced in the Ford cars in 1941. It then migrated into the trucks. At that time, the Ford pickup was on a car chassis. Edsel Ford was responsible for this engine which was a good engine. In 1952, this 6 was replaced with an OHV 6 which, in my humble opinion was the best 6 available at the time.
Edsel Ford’s 6 replaced the ill-fated 60 horsepower flathead V8 that Henry Ford designed as a low cost companion to the 85 hp V8 which was a good engine. Much later, in 1965, Ford introduced the 240 and 300 6 cylinder engines wbich were very good.
I won't discount that happens but there is another possible explanation that I think is more plausible in this case: It's cheaper to do it with softkeys- actually far, far cheaper than hardware keys. That makes it almost impossible to argue against with the bean counters.
That’s actually a very good point.
I know that in the old days, one of the biggest problem areas of television sets was the controls. Tuner contacts get dirty, volume controls become noisy, mechanical switches fail. Their modern electronic replacements are more reliable by an order of magnitude.
Also, ignore the “bean counters”, make every component as perfect as is humanly achievable instead of settling for “good enough”, and you end up with Bentleys and Bugatti’s and the working class is relegated to walking.
You make a good point, B.L.E. If the knobs and slides that I prefer were still used, the cars would be more expensive and less reliable. There’s no getting around the tradeoffs.
Some of us are willing to pay for more expensive and less reliable if it is what we want!! Why does everything need to be the lowest cost possible if it is not what the customer wants?? This is a lesson manufacturers need to learn.
As a non-automotive example, there are hydraulic transmissions used on riding mowers that are very poor and don’t stand up to hills or pulling attachments. These are used in virtually every consumer line of riding mower. One of the problems is that the fluid needs to be drained in them regularly to promote better service. There is no drain plug though and requires removal and dismantling to replace the fluid. The company claims that every mower manufacturer was offered the plug option for 50 cents additional cost and they all turned it down. Who are these people that make these decisions and who are we as customers that allow it?
One of the problems is that the fluid needs to be drained in them regularly to promote better service. There is no drain plug though and requires removal and dismantling to replace the fluid. The company claims that every mower manufacturer was offered the plug option for 50 cents additional cost and they all turned it down
I have a feeling that if those transmissions did have a oil drain plug and if the oil was changed regularly, those transmissions still wouldn't hold up to steep hill climbing and attachment pulling.
Who are these people that make these decisions and who are we as customers that allow it?
It's the customers themselves, who shop by price, that drive this race to the bottom in lawn equipment quality.
My brother paid around $5000 for a commercial grade riding mower, (this was over 30 years ago, it would probably cost around $10K today) for his part time lawn care business that he ran on his days off from the fire department. One of his fireman buddies told him, "you could have gotten one for $1000 from Sears." My brother just laughed and said, "that Sears riding mower wouldn't last a year the way I use it".
We tell the manufacturers what to make when we vote with our pocketbooks.
Cars seem to be headed in the direction of requiring intense driver attention to even turn the radio on
The HVAC controls on my 4-runner was designed way too complex. There was not need for all the complexity. My wifes Lexus is also way too complex. Now my 2014 Highlander…nice and simple and has all the functionality of the 4runner and Lexus.
The simplest design was my GMC S-15.Very simple…and I could easily change settings without looking at it.
I don’t buy the “buttons are less reliable” logic. I have a 27, a 24, and a 22 year old car. All the buttons work. Heck, even the radio buttons still worked in my '93 MR2 when I ripped it out and replaced it with a new one because the LCD display had failed as had the cassette player.
Meanwhile if I still have my 2007 TL when it’s 22 years old, I will be absolutely shocked if the LCD display screen still functions - and even if it turns on, I bet the touch screen functionality will have long expired. But that’s OK, because it also has physical buttons and even knobs that I can control the radio with.
Not to worry, it won’t be long before it’s all controlled by voice.
One potentially valuable resulting feature will go something like this-
Kids: Are we there yet?
Siri: We have 62.3 miles and will arrive in 1 hour and 7 minutes
Kids: Are we there yet?
Siri: We have 60.7 miles and will arrive in 1 hour and 5 minutes
Kids: Are we there yet?
Siri: We have 58.4 miles and will arrive in 1 hour and 2 minutes
Meanwhile, parents relax and enjoy the ride
@TwinTurbo Google already does this on Android. “Are we there yet” returns the ETA (by voice). Ask again, and it says “No.”
Best of all, if you ask 4 times in a row it says “If you ask me again, we won’t stop for ice cream.”
Actually my Acura has Betty living somewhere in the dashboard but I rarely talk to her anymore. She seems to be hard of hearing or just plain obstinate to answer my questions and obey my commands. I don’t have anybody talking to me in my Pontiac and l like that just fine.
As far as which came first the price competition or the cheap consumers, its a chicken and egg thing. But you hit a certain point like Walmart where enough is enough and let me pay 10% more and get quality and something I want. Its for manufacturers to discover this and market it though but I believe the market is there.
The trouble with voice command…anything…is it’s inability to understand accents. Like; Deep south, and english as a second language as from Arabic nations, India, Mexico, Navajo etc etc etc.
The trouble with voice command..anything..is it's inability to understand accents. Like; Deep south, and english as a second language as from Arabic nations, India, Mexico, Navajo etc etc etc.
They’ve made a lot of headway into that problem. Learning software to tune the voice recognition to a specific accent or dialect.