@Simon B:Why do we need cars that need...
You are of course free to buy an older car without all the computery gubbins. No-one is stopping you.
These things may appear to be pointless excesses, but there's a solid reason behind each choice. As the extra complexity is generally more expensive, and manufacturers want to be able to sell their cars, they don't just add this stuff on a whim.
Just because you don't see the benefit doesn't mean there isn't one.
A computer system to turn the ignition off when a barrela nd key works with no less benefit.
The intention is to improve security.
Simple barrel and key is open to hotwiring, it's just a switch that in some cases can carry a very high current - so is also a potential fire hazard if there's a wiring fault.
The electronic barrel has a transponder that reads a code from your key. That code is passed to the car's security module which decides if that key is allowed to start the car. That is why keys have to be coded to cars. Accessory positions 1 and 2 may still be simple switches, or they may also be enabled by the security module.
Secondary benefits are automated start/stop, and remote start.
Attaching to a laptop to bring wipers to the middle so you can change the blades, as the blades hide under the bonet when you turn them/the car off.
Design aesthetics and aerodynamics are probable reasons here. Manufacturers seeking that fractional improvement in drag reduction will conceal the wipers as this helps smooth airflow over the car.
As for being hidden under the bonnet, just open the bonnet when the blades need changing. This is normal practice on modern cars. I've never seen one that needs something plugged into the diagnostic port to change the wiper blades.
computers and electronics are great, but do we really need one to do simple mundane tasks which REALLY don't need making super complicated?! It's all about robbing the customer blind
I'd say it's more feeling the need to add automated and "intelligent" features as an attempt to differentiate in a competitive market, with a nod to making things more complicated than the average owner can handle so will maybe return to the dealer.
EU directives mean that servicing and repairs can be carried out at any VAT registered garage without affecting the manufacturer warranty, so you are free to take your car to just about any garage you want.
You need to connect your car to my gizmo mate to find out why your car is in limp mode. It'll give me an error code whih i can look up to tell me. Oh btw it costs £60 jto do that; just to tell you what's wrong.'
Sure, dealers like to scam you by charging half hour or hour labour just to plug in a computer that gives the result in 30 seconds. Know scam that is easily avoided.
You can buy yourself a £20 code reader and look up the fault yourself, then research the problem yourself and decide if you can fix it.
And you are still free to take your car anywhere to get repaired. Doesn't have to be the dealer. And dealers are often franchises so even if you do go to a dealer, the manufacturer doesn't see a penny of that. Dealer buys cars from manufacturer, parts sometimes from the manufacturer. That's the end of the relationship. Manufacturer does not benefit from service and repair jobs.
What's the alternative? Cars that tell you nothing about the problem so you pay out for hours and hours of diagnostic labour charge just to find the fault, then you still have to pay for the fix as well?
Going into limp mode is usually better than the car simply dying on you and refusing to start. you can at least get home or to a garage instead of being stuck at the roadside.