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Discussion Starter #1
[SIZE=medium]Hill Descent Control—Amazing![/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]Some old-timers like me remember the American folk ballad of John Henry vs. the Steam Drill: John Henry heroically beats the machine (in the mythical contest of drilling holes for dynamite in tunnel construction) only to die (from a heart attack/exhaustion?). Having driven offroad in Jeep vehicles (though not my pristine new one) equipped with Hill Descent Control down seriously high, steep, rough hills, I early on learned to yield to THE MACHINE in those situations. I don’t see how it is humanly possible to “manually” do better than the Hill Descent Control system! [/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]There might be some Jeepers out there who claim they can do better manually, but I’m skeptical about that (especially with respect to non-professionals like me). For example, one bane of offroaders’ existence is what I call the dreaded crunchdown; others might call it something else, but the bottom line is that an insufficiently-controlled smackdown of your undercarriage after "hitting a bump"—even at slow speed in low-range 4-wheel drive—can damage parts and leave you stranded or gouge your finances. And in a serious crunchdown, rocks sometimes find a way to “outdo” even skidplates! [/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]My point is that Jeep’s Hill Descent Control system basically so well-moderates rough offroad downhill speed and bumping up and down that no human can manually compete with it in that regard.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=11pt]‘Any other Allparers care to share relevant stories/ disagree/ otherwise comment?[/SIZE]
 

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Many are against the electronic 'nannies' that do things invisibly and better than manual controls could. Many traditional Jeepers want the man/machine interface to be left alone. I like the safety part and the feature can be turned off if desired.
ESP (electronic stability control) has probably saved many from accidents and many lives by preventing a slide on black ice or other slippery conditions and has done so without human intervention that a human would panic and over-correct with.
It can do so behind the scenes without the driver being aware that anything ever happened.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was long suspicious that electronic controls were "just a marketing ploy and something else to go wrong" but modern electronics have become more reliable, and having a somewhat "scientific" experience like mine offroad--where you can directly compare effects with/without the control in question--has convinced me of at least the efficacy of Hill Descent Control! The effects there have been IN MY FACE, unlike others that one might not know about, i.e., behind the scenes. And also echoing ImperialCrown, it's switchable off, if you really think you can do better manually.
 

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I found Hill Descent Control interesting. It made it easier as a novice. (I'd used the term amateur before, but I think novice is better. Is there something before novice?) What I really, really like is the thing that stops the car from slipping back on a steep hill. Makes a stick much easier given that most people now apparently were never taught "give the car in front of you some room when on a steep hill, in case they have a car with a stick." While I can usually deal with it, there's no stress when the car doesn't roll back!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, probably "novice" meaning "new at it" is better than amateur vs. professional in what it seems like you're describing?

I think that other feature is called "hill start assist". There are so many relatively new features, it's hard to keep track. People can write about them, tell you about them, but there's nothing like actually experiencing/appreciating the actual benefit yourself, is there?

It makes me think of the legendaryTobe Couture demonstrating a new Chrysler design to investors/bankers in a hair-raising test ride!
 

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My observations ( I have desent and ascent controls on my 2013).
These systems are great for novices
Traction control, lockers, etc.
A well trained driver can do as well and IF and when one of these systems fails, an untrained driver can then find themselves in trouble, lacking the ability to negotiate without the computer.
It's like a person who can't read a map, what happens when their GPS fails?
There are certain situations and terrain where the traction controls can actually create a dangerous situation, for that reason, Jeep has built in the ability to turn them off.
The only thing that bothers me about them is the complexity and cost of the vehicle.

In my mind its still crucial for drivers to learn their vehicles abilities and taking your Jeep out to a low traction dirt or gravel skid pad, with the traction controls ON to learn how the vehicle reacts, is invaluable.
 
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