Newer features (or technology, as some would say) usually come with a downside and most of the time it is either complexity or added costs. As a result, automakers face a tough time balancing these new features and the added concerns.
Let's take a look at some of the automotive technologies or features that are slowly getting phased out.
Compact discs? Who buys them nowadays? These are the most common questions you will hear when we talk about music CDs. CD players are going through the same phase cassette decks went through when music CDs were hugely popular. Today, one can easily download songs from the cyber space.
You could also easily get a portable MP3 player for a low price. The same goes for automotive stereo systems and today's auto stereo systems come with a variety of features. Many of these systems come with a connection that could plug in portable devices such as the iPhone or a USB thumb drive and the higher end ones come with an integrated Bluetooth technology.
Automakers are aware that consumers today love touch screen systems. There are many reasons why such systems are getting more popular. First of all, it is the level of personal customisation that a user can apply and some automakers have introduced systems that can be operated by voice.
Although touch screen systems may look cool but it can be rather distracting to use when you are driving and there were also reports of such systems having problems such as lag or even a total system crash. Such systems are still at the infant stage and as time goes by, they will only get better.
If you were to go to a public car park and pick out ten cars, I can bet you that more than half of them do not have a traditional manual gearbox. Whatever the reasons are, drivers today just prefer automatic transmissions over a manual one.
Automatic transmissions today are much more efficient than the ones used years ago. Some automakers even stress that their automated gearboxes shift faster than a human being's hand. It is common to see cars today with auto gearboxes that have six or more gears and this trend will not stop anytime soon.
This may not really apply locally as car buyers here are more cautious of engine capacity due to the government's road tax system. But if you were to take a closer look at newer models today, you will realise that automakers are more inclined towards releasing cars with smaller sized engines and this is a good thing for local buyers.
Just take a look at cars from the Volkswagen Group. Small turbocharged engines that are able to produce power and efficiency of larger ones. Another example is Ford's EcoBoost range of engines.
As prices of fuel are not getting any lower, this strategy of using small capacity engines with direct injection coupled with forced-induced devices, will be the new direction for most automakers in the future.
More cars today comes with keyless entry and drivers need to only carry a key fob. Some of these key fobs are rather high-tech. You could start your car remotely, open or close your rear boot etc. But it seems that the key fob is going to be extinct soon.
Late last year, Hyundai introduced a concept technology that enables the owner of the car to lock and unlock his/her car and to also start it with just tapping a smart phone on the car. A Near Field Communication (NFC) tag is located at the door and all the driver has to do is to put his/her smart phone close to the tag. The system also pulls up the driver's profile and sets the audio, climate control and even phone book entries before the engine starts. It even comes with a charging pad so that your phone's battery will not dry up.
The above points are just some of the features which I feel that are getting phased out by newer technologies. If you feel that there are other features which are getting phased out, please comment below.