Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Aus Design Rules

There are car design rules in Australia. The new Mini Minor to be imported into Australia had to move its speedometer from the centre of the dash, as it used to be in the old Minis, to a position that was thought more visible, closer to the driver.

One large 4WD vehicle had to add supplementary rear lights down on the bumper bar because it was thought that the normal lights were too high for motor bike riders to see, which was nonsense and the addition of the bumper lights rather spoilt the look of the vehicle.

Both of the above examples are bureaucrats justifying their jobs. 

What they did miss a few years ago was Peugeot vehicles with such dim rear indicators that could barely be seen flashing being allowed to be imported unmodified. I don't know how many times I have not seen flashing rear indicators on these Peugeot vehicles that were actually flashing.

Our new car has a reversing camera. It is just as well as because the sills of the windows are so high, you can barely see anything from the car. Our authorities are not game to take on basic car designs, but these high window sills that are found on most cars are dangerous. Your view of the external is quite inhibited. Each time we have bought a new car, the visibility from inside has become worse. Feel sorry for toddlers too who are sitting too low to see out the car windows.

I am not sure how the world has moved to design cars from form over function.  It is all about the design and the looks and not about the practicality. This won't get any better in the future. Expect sleeker looking cars with less side and rear window area and more dependence on cameras and alert systems.

Argh, I am still trying to get used to reversing by camera. As R said when he watched me reversing into a car space, you don't trust what you are seeing in the camera, do you. He is right. I don't but I am getting there.

23 comments:

  1. I agree with the windows thing, I've seen a few newer model cars on the roads and the rear windows are so small I wonder why they bother to put them in at all. Things might change if people refuse to buy them, but how likely is that scenario? As long as I can see out the bus and train/tram windows I'll be happy. If they start putting tiny windows in those, I'll go back to walking.

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    1. River, what they may do is cover your bus windows with advertising that allows you to see out but not very well. I hate it.

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    2. We get that already and I hate it too, more so in winter when the rain is pelting the windows so I can't even see over the top of any advertising. It's hard to know where you are when you can't see any buildings. I've started memorising how many left and right turns the bus makes and after the second right turn I'll push the stop button.

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    3. That really is bad. Many negative opinions have been offered, but the government or private operators make money from the ads.

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  2. Andrew,Each car has pluses and minuses. But it seems your new car is almost perfect. Travel safely..

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    1. There are a few minor things we aren't happy with Gosia, but generally we are very pleased with it.

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  3. Bureauocracy at its very worst.

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    1. Job justification, I think EC.

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  4. I used to be an excellent 'parker' of my car. That's not my opinion; it is the commonly acknowledged view of a number of my friends who noted how efficiently and quickly I used to parked my car in comparison with their own efforts.

    That skill, however, has deteriorated with my current car and your post explains why. The sight lines from modern cars are terrible.

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    1. Exactly my point Victor and I am far less confident reverse parking than I used to be. I could once do it at speed, but no longer.

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  5. I never drove a car so none of these things worry me, I'm happy just to be driven.
    Merle...........

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    1. It would be a nice way to be most of the time Merle.

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  6. It's no wonder reversing cameras are needed these days due to what you describe. I am lucky, I can see out the back and sides of my car alright. We are getting a new 4 wheel drive soon, so it will be interesting to see 'how we see out of that'!.

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    1. The Audi WA? I am bit surprised. The 4WD will be brilliant to see out of, I think. My sister has one and it is excellent in that department.

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    2. Yes, the Audi I can see out of ok Andrew.

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  7. I will like to mention the most hilarious of the Australian Design Rules - that vehicles may not under-read the speed, but may over-read the speed by anything up to 10% + 4 km/h

    This means that if your vehicle's *actual* speed is 100kmh, the displayed speed is permitted to be anywhere between 100kmh and 114kmh.

    I have tested my Volkswagen Polo via several different means, and it is out by 10%. EG at 110km/hr on the speedo, my actual true speed is 100km/hr. Now that I know this, I can drive accordingly. To do 60, I need to do 66. To do 80, I need to do 88. It could be worse, it could be the full 10% *plus* 4km/hr, and I'd forever be doing maths in my car. And I failed maths, quite badly. :)

    However, there are a whole bunch of people out there who do not know this, and many of them believe their speedo is supposed to be accurate!

    These people are likely wondering why people keep overtaking them when they *think* they are doing the speed limit, but they are actually doing less than the speed limit and in the case of 100km/hr, they may be doing under 90km/hr as a surprise to themselves.

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    1. Snoskred, I wasn't aware of that regulation. Our new car seems to be accurate but all older ones read as you describe by around 4 plus km/h. Take care at lower speeds as it may not be the same as at 100 km/h.

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  8. I think your government has a juicy contract with the car industry ! All these changes bring money !

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    1. Gattina, work for local people? That may not be a bad thing.

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  9. I've never understood style over sense when it comes to safety. It doesn't take a genius to realise that reversing uphill (out of the drive) with these smaller windows means you can't actually see what is behind the car so I apologise again for hitting my neighbour's brand new car!

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    1. Fun60, I turned into a one way street when the car was a few days old, to be faced by a garbage truck coming out the wrong way. I had to reverse and once I had and he cleared, I realised there was a parked car I just had not seen. I must have been very close to hitting it. That is why I trying to get used to the camera. It can see at the back better than I can. I hope your neighbour wasn't too cross.

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  10. Maybe this is one reason why 4wheel drives are becoming so popular even in cities. Sight lines are so necessary.

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    1. It is one reason River, but I can tell you they are much easier to get into and out of for older people.

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