How many ‘innovations’ nowadays are of actual practical use?

Honda Activa 125 Review Test Ride
Silent start system on the BS6 Activa is a good example of useful innovation

Pragmatic Innovation

Every vehicle that comes out on the market comes with a slew of new features to impress its customers and stay ahead of the curve. Every new car that launches somehow manages to bring a segment-first feature to the table. Sometimes it’s revolutionary, and other times, not so much. With competition boiling to an extreme, especially in segments like compact SUVs, a company is obliged to bring something new to the table.

But every once in a while a company drops an innovation into the market that makes you go “Wow, how come no one has thought of that?”. That is the kind of innovation that could do with a little more oomph in the markets today.

Why So Much Tech?

2016 Mercedes GLC Dashboard
The dashboard of the 2016 Mercedes GLC

Screens, GUI, AI are all the craze in the new models that roll out today. This is especially true higher up the price spectrum. The technology that these cars have under their skin is mind-boggling. While the tech is well appreciated when bought, but give it a few years, and your tech seems like stone-age compared to the new one on the market. Just take a look at the GLC from four years ago. The materials still look exquisite, and so does the layout. But what takes the limelight is the infotainment display. And sadly, that sole factor screams out the era it’s from.

Let me remind you that this vehicle started at 50.7 lakhs (ex-showroom, Pune) back in 2016. The car would still feel like its worth that much, it would still drive like a Mercedes, but go to change the radio station, and you would question the price point of this car. Such is the rapid development of technology. If your phone gets old, you can change it. But here is the thing, cars last way longer than phones, so you can’t just change the car for the infotainment. With brands giving more and more control to these screens and making them even bigger, they are inadvertently stamping the year of manufacture at the centre of the car.

Remove that screen and that dashboard is timeless a true masterpiece. If the entire dashboard is a screen, how can we say this 5 years down the line for the current-gen cars? This is more of an issue when you realise that most of the extra money we are paying over the old generation model nowadays go to the tech inside our cars.