There’s an old cliché about the German people – one which is perhaps unknown to the denizens of that country. It is that the Germans overthink every design challenge, and “over-engineer” absurdly complex solutions to each: problems that could be solved by a much simpler device, and non-problems which don’t particularly demand solving at all.
In other words – or so the stereotype goes – the German people routinely fail to K-I-S-S (Keep It Simple, Silly).
Case-in-point: Auto Guide recently uncovered a BMW patent filing which details possibly the most advanced cup holder ever imagined. To be fair, there haven’t been many contenders.
The abstract of the BMW patent filing reportedly describes “an apparatus for holding a liquid-filled vessel includes a temperature sensor for sensing a temperature related to the temperature of the liquid in the vessel and a control unit connected to the temperature sensor.” That is to say, it’s a cup holder with a temperature sensor, and that temp sensor is connected to a digital circuit which can prompt vehicle behaviors like flashing a warning when a beverage is especially hot, or suggesting a break to the driver and playing lively music if a coffee goes from hot to cold in the course of driving.
The Motrolix Take
Is it April Fools Day? Absolutely no one was asking for the device detailed in this BMW patent app. Indeed, it seems to us that there have always been other, much bigger and more pressing engineering challenges to tackle with regard to driving an automobile.
This BMW patent is a profound demonstration of the automaker’s uncanny ability to load up their cars with confounding tech that no one particularly wants, and it certainly fails to disprove that old cliché about Germans.