The Weekly Driver Newsletter, Volume 1, #2: Technology overload

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The term technology overload is new to the automotive world. In recent years, manufacturers have gone to great lengths to provide more gadgets in their vehicles to beat the other guy. The competition is fierce, but what does it all mean?

Do drivers need all this stuff? Many of the safety improvements, side detection mirrors, traffic monitoring, backup cameras, are beneficial. But over-sensitive bells and buzzers that engage seemingly at random?

The 2016 Lincoln MKX gets great safety ratings, but it also defines technology overload
The 2016 Lincoln MKX gets great safety ratings, but it also defines technology overload. Image © James Raia/2016.

David Lyon, a former General Motors designer, speaking at the 2015 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) World Congress in Detroit, stressed the need for an industry “features intervention.”

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Likewise in 2015, J.D. Power, the global market research company, detailed the issue in its first Driver Interactive Vehicle Experience Report. It reported new car drivers on the average have not used 16 of 33 technology features in their vehicles.

Further, a report earlier this year from Research and Markets, the international business data company, summarized: “Distraction or driver discomfort may also arise from any limitation of the product feature that may be detrimental to the safety of the driver, vehicle, and surrounding traffic environment.”

I first realized technology overland last year while testing driving a 2016 Lincoln MKX near the freeway interchange between Interstate 680 South and Highway 24 West. It’s often a showcase for drivers’ worst behaviors. You can drive it a thousand times, prepare for a safe move to the proper lane and still face peril. Wherever I moved, a sensor or warning light engaged. Much of it was unnecessary.

The Lincoln MKX is a fine automobile, but it’s hampered by technology overload. The SUV has a detection system so sensitive, it doesn’t know when to shut up.

Read the full review here: 2016 Lincoln MKX

Read The Weekly Driver Newsletter, No. 1, here

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New Car Reviews

The 2017 Bentley Bentayga has 600 horsepower and 0-60 mph acceleration in 4.0 seconds.
The 2017 Bentley Bentayga has 600 horsepower and 0-60 mph acceleration in 4.0 seconds. Image © Michael Kahn/2016

2017 Kia Niro: Hybrid SUV redefined

2017 Madza3: The little beast that can

2017 Jeep Cherokee: Iconic WWII symbol endures

2017 Toyota Tacoma: Versatile, sturdy, fun

2017 Bentley Bentayga: Luxury, craftsmanship personified.


Pacific Coast Dream Machine Show, Everything with an engine

Electric Automotive Corridor: Monterey connected to South Lake Tahoe

Auto Trends: Driverless vans, exotic colors


2016 Honda Fit: Best value of any U.S. car?

2016 Toyota Camry: Best-selling sedan gets sportier

2016 GMC Yukon Denali: Big, badass, defies logic


Subaru: Most versatile carmaker in the U.S.?

Kia: Hey, Honda, Toyota, don’t look back!

Ford: Dominating pick-ups, hot-shot compact


Chicago’s new dubious honor: longest average car commute

Mercedes-Benz breaks from tradition with first pick-up

The worst car ever? Auto-Kabine, a VW Bug on steroids?

The Weekly Driver e-newsletter is published weekly by James Raia, editor and publisher of Online since 2004, the website features new car reviews, automotive news and videos. We hope you enjoy the content and tell your friends, family and colleagues to sign-up on our website. Comments are welcomed. Advertising is accepted.

Cheers, James Raia
E-mail: [email protected]


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