Cars will automatically adjust to you.

Cars will automatically adjust to you.

I’ll often get a press car after another journalist has totally mangled the settings. Usually the radio is tuned to something ghastly like Talkback or The Breeze and the bass and treble are wound up to the max, the mirrors are all wrong and the steering wheel is set really high. The first few minutes of familiarisation involves tuning some better music, and adjusting the seating and steering wheel position, then figuring out where the buttons and switches are that you’ll need (indicators, lights, ejector seat, etc) so that you’re not left fumbling, or don’t accidentally turn on the wipers when you mean to go left (believe me, it’s the bain of my life, switching from Japanese to Euro cars and back again all the time).

We’re never really taught how to set our car up – what to do with the wing mirrors, where to have the seat and steering wheel positioned, etc. Wing mirrors are designed to allow you to see behind and to the side, and can also be angled down for parallel parking. But mostly in everyday driving they’ll be used to you can see approaching cars in other lanes or something overtaking you. Too many people have their wing mirrors set so that a third of the mirror is taken up with a view of the side of the car. This leaves a blind spot over your shoulder. To set up the mirrors, sit in  your usual driving position, then angle the mirrors outwards until you can only just see the edge of the car. You can go further if you want, especially if you have got a really good rear-view mirror, but I find this skews my interpretation of how close a car is that’s approaching from behind in another lane. Some of the more expensive cars have memory settings for wheel, seats and mirrors, and this is great. If you’re a hulking 6-foot-2 guy and you have a diminutive 5-foot-nowt partner, a couple of button presses and you’re back to abject comfort and postural efficiency. This can only filter down to cheaper cars like any technology.

Eventually I see cars automatically adjusting to your height and weight when you first get in. They’ll detect how long your legs are in relation to your arms, automatically positioning the seat and pedals. They’ll know where your eyes are (they already have this technology to detect sleepy drivers), and will move the mirrors to the optimum position. They’ll know how heavy you are (don’t get all embarrassed), and will bolster the seats where necessary, and may even make the seats more supportive in spirited driving.. But by the time this happens, it might be that the car drives itself, so you will be free to wind up the bass and treble and absorb the easy-listening vibe that washes over you in lounge-like comfort.

I’ll often get a press car after another journalist has totally mangled the settings. Usually the radio is tuned to something ghastly like Talkback or The Breeze and the bass and treble are wound up to the max, the mirrors are all wrong and the steering wheel is set really high. The first few minutes of familiarisation involves tuning some better music, and adjusting the seating and steering wheel position, then figuring out where the buttons and switches are that you’ll need (indicators, lights, ejector seat, etc) so that you’re not left fumbling, or don’t accidentally turn on the wipers when you mean to go left (believe me, it’s the bain of my life, switching from Japanese to Euro cars and back again all the time).

We’re never really taught how to set our car up – what to do with the wing mirrors, where to have the seat and steering wheel positioned, etc. Wing mirrors are designed to allow you to see behind and to the side, and can also be angled down for parallel parking. But mostly in everyday driving they’ll be used to you can see approaching cars in other lanes or something overtaking you. Too many people have their wing mirrors set so that a third of the mirror is taken up with a view of the side of the car. This leaves a blind spot over your shoulder. To set up the mirrors, sit in  your usual driving position, then angle the mirrors outwards until you can only just see the edge of the car. You can go further if you want, especially if you have got a really good rear-view mirror, but I find this skews my interpretation of how close a car is that’s approaching from behind in another lane. Some of the more expensive cars have memory settings for wheel, seats and mirrors, and this is great. If you’re a hulking 6-foot-2 guy and you have a diminutive 5-foot-nowt partner, a couple of button presses and you’re back to abject comfort and postural efficiency. This can only filter down to cheaper cars like any technology.

Eventually I see cars automatically adjusting to your height and weight when you first get in. They’ll detect how long your legs are in relation to your arms, automatically positioning the seat and pedals. They’ll know where your eyes are (they already have this technology to detect sleepy drivers), and will move the mirrors to the optimum position. They’ll know how heavy you are (don’t get all embarrassed), and will bolster the seats where necessary, and may even make the seats more supportive in spirited driving.. But by the time this happens, it might be that the car drives itself, so you will be free to wind up the bass and treble and absorb the easy-listening vibe that washes over you in lounge-like comfort.

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