Apart from sticking one’s head out of the roof, is there any other reason Indian cars need sunroofs?
We are here to rant, or not, but we are seriously bothered by modern-day car features. Over the years, cars have evolved in terms of engine, safety, and in-cabin features. However, some car features do not make sense in 2023, especially in India. Not to forget, given that India is a price-sensitive market, such useless features stop a majority from purchasing cars. Yes, some cars are launched with base variants, but the options are limited.
So, bear with us and allow us the liberty to rant (or maybe not, take the tone as you may) about some of the most useless car features in 2023.
The man of the hour in the world of cars is the advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS). Let us make it clear that safety features are welcomed with open arms, and we are always curious about the progress of ADAS. However, the question is: has ADAS developed enough to make its magic work in India? More than that, are Indian drivers educated and wise enough to put ADAS to good use?
The answer to both questions is a BIG NO!
Let us first understand ADAS in rudimentary terms. It is an automated assisting system that has several functions, such as keeping the car in the lane, applying brakes if the car is too close to the vehicle in the front, bringing the car to the correct place if it is too close to vehicles on the left and right, detecting vehicles in blind spots, etc.
However, one must note that ADAS is an assistant system and never says that a driver can sit in the car inattentively without holding the steering wheel. In India, most drivers fail to understand the meaning of ADAS, and thus, we have come across videos where drivers are caught misusing ADAS and, therefore, encountering tragic accidents.
ADAS is also not developed enough for Indian roads, given that the majority of roads do not possess proper lane division, especially in tier-II and tier-III cities. Not to forget, sudden jaywalkers arriving out of nowhere or stray animals also confuse ADAS, leading to mishaps.
At the end of the day, despite having ADAS, a driver must be attentive, and his hands should always be on the steering wheel. And if that is the case, what is the point of ADAS in cars unless Indian roads feature similar dynamics to those in the United States or Germany?
In short, it is always good to hear that having your car armed with ADAS helps you flaunt it, but the real-world usage of ADAS is next to nil in India.
Stop sticking your head out!
Next up is one of the most-loved features in India: the sunroof. In India, sunroofs are used for sticking out your head to get fresh air. Why? Because people probably don’t get air through their windows. At times, sticking out the entire body is also the norm.
However, sunroofs are meant for a purpose, i.e., letting in sunlight. Now, the question is, do you need sunlight in a country like India, which mostly has a long summer season? In India, sunroofs make no sense but are only seen as a feature to be flaunted on the streets while acting like an educated hooligan.
The feature makes the car expensive, and not to forget, it also increases the weight of the car. When a sunroof is added, the structural rigidity of the top is lost, and to gain back the lost rigidity, additional parts are used, which increases the car’s weight. Not to forget, the more moving parts, the greater the number of problems.
Furthermore, sunroofs make a car much hotter because glass surfaces absorb more heat. This is one of the reasons why buildings in colder countries use glass because glass works as an insulator and keeps the building hot, allowing a bit of sunlight inside.
Infotainment, gesture and more
Whether driving to your office or going on a vacation to some hill station, your job as a driver is to drive the car, not swipe through an extensive infotainment system with unnecessary features such as gesture control, online gaming, message alerts, and voice control. Yes, a navigation system comes in handy, but honestly, do we drive, or do we toggle through the massive infotainment system?
In India, such features have surfaced only recently, meaning most Indians have grown up with cars where a nob is used to switch on the AC or the wiper. It indeed seems incredible, but are they instrumental? Not to forget, even though we are heading to a future where technology is likely to do everything for us, simplicity is always preferred. That is why, despite modern-day cars having a lot of gimmicky stuff, most drivers still prefer classic or vintage cars.
Such features are great for children who are probably aged ten and eight or ten years from now; they will acquire their driving licences in an era where the driving scenario will be completely revamped along with the tech-savvy environment. For us or people in their 40s or 50s, the tech-bred cars with hefty tags are a headache. Mostly, they distract us, while we only wish to drive and relax.