Wake up and Smell the De-Icer!
Yes here's another motiring article about the dreaded season called Winter. Bare with me though because I'm not on about rip-off winter tyres or braking distances on black ice. I want to know why, in 2012, we are exploring other planets and on our way to curing several serious diseases, but we still have to wake up 10 minutes earlier and stand outside at stupid o'clock to scrape some ice off our cars. Why can't they do it themselves?
This year I thought I'd give the kettle/watering can with slightly warm water in a try to see if it was better. (If the water is too warm it can crack the glass). I have to say that it saved me a few minutes, but I am only just getting away with it because it's only just below 0 degrees C. Once it drops towards the -10 mark, the water will just freeze as soon as you pour it on. And you can't just use warmer water in case the glass decides it's had enough and cracks.
I know heated windows are simple. And the reason why I know this is because my previous car had a heated front windscreen, and it was wonderful. So wonderful in fact I want it back. Now.
I realise that the heating element has to be attached to the sides of the glass which are attached to the A pillar, and obviously the windscreen does not move so it works well, unlike the side side windows that do move. But the bottom of the side windows stay attached and the whole of the rear sides are attached in a 2 or 3 door motor. It is entirely possible to install something similar like some cars already have on the windscreen and rear window.
I like to compare little luxuries like these to electric window switches. They only save 5 seconds and a small amount of effort, but because we are so lazy, we can't do without them and 9 out of 10 cars have them as standard now. Without boring you too much, this is based on a marketing concept, whereby a product feature (such as the switches) starts off as a competitive advantage because only one company has it. Over time it then becomes more widely used, until eventually it's the norm and you are actually at a competitive disadvantage if you don't have it.
This takes me back to my heated window proposal. We just need one car manufacturer to install it on a model. Let people see how good it is and how it will save them the dread of freezing to death every morning, and eventually you will see all the windows heated on your Corsa or Fiesta. I hope someone from Mercedes reads this because the S Class is always the first to use brand new technology and the big limo would be perfect to showcase it first.
I think the driver has been left behind somewhat in recent years when it comes to car technology and gadgets. Every car firm has had so much pressure on them to reduce emissions and squeeze an extra mile from its fuel tanks, that other areas have taken a back seat. We need the luxury maufacturers to pioneer fully heated windows an option for buyers, then we need the buyers themselves to spec it when they order one. Then Bob's your uncle we will no longer have to scrape our cars again.
Sounds simple enough, doesn't it?