Vehicle controls are effectively redundant in the current meta. How do we address that?

The issue, in a nutshell, is this:
Anything in this list Flags - Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead de facto effectively performs the same functions as “proper” vehicle controls (Vehicle controls - Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead).
This is an issue because quite a few items in that list are wa-a-ay lower tech (both in terms of crafting tools and materials requirements and by the virtue of being auto-learned as a recipe).

That’s not a major issue, but it just feels quite out of place to have a higher-tech item that is, effectively, completely redundant.

So what would be the preferred way of addressing this?

  • lower crafting requirements of vehicle controls to the point they are about the same “tech level” as oars/sail/etc
  • limit some engine types to prevent them from working at all unless “proper” vehicle controls are installed
  • do nothing (Homemade atomic tanks controled via oars go BRRRR!)
  • something else?

Add a new flag, “MANUAL_CONTROLS” for manual controls like oars, foot pedals, handrims, sails, and animal harnesses.

Vehicles that only have MANUAL_CONTROLS can only be controlled if all the engines also have MANUAL_CONTROLS. As soon as you have an engine that isn’t MANUAL_CONTROLS, you need real controls.

Coding this is an exercise for anyone who is interested, or else I’ll throw it on my lengthy to-do list for something to do when I’m feeling frustrated.

I’ve been thinking about something similar, but here’s the problem:
does that mean that literally any kind of an engine — even a small electrical engine on a homemade bike (or steam engine, for that matter)— requires welding equipment to use?

I don’t see why that’s an issue.

Alternately, add more support for vehicle parts that can be installed with bolts.