RealWorld HF/Design Question

21 Nov 2003 - 1:18pm
782 reads
Juhan Sonin
2003

Issue:
Car blinker light remains on after you shut engine off and leave car.
This was designed by BMW Mini.

Upon returning to my car from a short errand, I notice my right brake
light and turn signals were on (solid light, not blinking). No other
lights were on in or around the car. I got in the car and hit the
brakes to potentially unlock the lights; I thought it could have been a
software error. The lights stayed on. I turned the car engine on and
off: no change, lights still on. It wasn't until I returned the turn
signal to a neutral position that the lights turned off.

A call to the dealer cleared it up (I had to call the dealer?!).
Apparently people can use this function for night-time parking in
narrow streets to alert other drivers that the car is parked but
static. It's a typical European feature. It doesn't draw enough battery
to drain it overnight but what if I had left the car for a few days?
It's a cute feature but how would the typical US driver react? When I
get into a car, any car, there are a few standardized features and I
know how they act. There are always nuances with new cars and but I'll
have to remember one more thing when driving. Am I being a nitwit
(which is usually the case) or is this funky?

It's pretty weird. Like the annoying insistence of MS Word that it
knows better how you want to write than you do. Suppose you drove to
Maine, parked your car at the marina, and went for a two-week sail? A
friend's car has a related annoying feature. It does not automatically
turn off the headlights after they were left on for a while after
parking. (It took him a couple of times calling the emergency truck at
the airport garage before he learned to remember.)

Yours,
Juhan

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