I was talking with my sister Jennifer the other day and she was remarking that loved her Tesla model 3 but the automatic windshield wiper controls were horrible. one of the things about the Tesla Model 3 is that windshield wipers are controls the software. When she first got her Model 3 a few years ago. She found that the automatic windshield wiper controls. we were not functional in Northwest weather. She would then have to turn the windshield wipers on. And she found that impossible to do while driving and looking to her right at the big screen in the center of the dashboard.  

In order to switch her wipers from “automatic” to “on” she would have to page through two screens and then touch the “on” button. After a few years of complaints from multiple Tesla owners Tesla has updated the software, so this is much simpler.  

Adverse Driving Conditions

I have a similar problem with my new car, a Kia Ev6. The windshield wipers are less than reliable when you put them into automatic mode. When in automatic mode, the car uses sensors in the windshield to detect rain and decide how fast the windshield wipers move. The problem is, I have found this to be unreliable at best. Welcome to the digital world, this is what happens when you let computers decide when to turn your wipers on and off. at least the controls on my wiper system are easier to access. 

This made me think back to the days when I drove an1978 Ford Econoline van. I remember buying it used. And before I got rid of it. I must have put at least another 100,000 miles on it. It was one of the first vehicles I owned with what are called intermittent windshield wiper adjustments. There was nothing digital about this system. It was an analog circuit and depending on how far you turn the knob on your dash, your wiper speed would either increase or decrease. 

Brushes on the car glass with copy space

I remember thinking this was a brilliant innovation. And found out later that there was even a movie made about the guy who came up with that innovation. According to Wikipedia. In 1963, an engineering professor named Robert Kearns came up with an innovative design filed for a patent in 1964 and showed it to Ford Motor Company. Ford told him. No, we're not interested. Then in 1969 they introduced the innovation in their Mercury line. Kearns filed a patent lawsuit against Ford. That he eventually won. This story eventually inspired the 2008 movie Flash of Genius. (No, I haven't seen it either.) 

I guess the moral of this story is that sometimes newer is not always better. It's just more complex. 

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