Another item for wasted technological effort...
I was in a shopping mall (hate them, but my daughters needed to go, badly), which had one of those Porsche SUVs in display. If malls are the new churches, where people go today to make themselves feel good, then art-like displays of automobiles must be our rational substitue for Jesus-worship. In this case, we were in the BellisFair Mall (Bellingham WA USA) with its cathedral-like food court.
So here's this car, ugly as sin, colored in embarrassing shade of deep red, almost rust-like in color. Something like $63,000. Gets 13 miles per gallon, costing the owner $1 in gas every 4 miles. It has heated seats, which my mom likes, but get this: a heated steering wheel.
Think about the Porsche engineers who were assigned the task of feeding wires to the steering wheel, and embedding a heating system around the rim. An another set of engineers who had to design the production system that build the heat-capable steering wheels. And the third set, who produced the shop manuals for repair facilities to fix the heating system for when it breaks down. Impractical.
What's wrong with wearing a pair of gloves on days when the steering wheel is cold enough to irritate the hands? No waiting for the steering wheel to heat up; no worrying of the wheel getting too hot.
The idea is a stupid as powered windows that don't work when the key is not in the ignition. A Honda minivan we used to own had a workaround that was even stupider: the power windows could be used for up to ten minutes after the engine was turned off -- provided none of the doors had been opened.
How does that work-around fit in with the typical scenario: mommie goes into the store for a gallon of milk, while daddy and the kids wait in the car. After a few minutes of whining from the kids, daddy wants to open the car windows, but can't. Or, daddy wants to wash the car, but the windows were left open; to close them, he has to find the key, get inside the car, put the key into the ignition and turn, etc, etc. Impractical.
That's why I'm glad our new car doesn't have power windows. I can open and close them anytime I want. And, I get to wear nice gloves when it's cold out.