This is more out of curiosity than anything. I've driven both manual and automatic vehicles, and it seems to me, that the hardest part of driving a manual vehicle is starting on an incline. The rest is pretty manageable.
I know that modern vehicles have hill start or hold function, but I'm wondering, for older cars, why doesn't applying the brakes automatically apply the clutch? It seems like it would solve the dreaded "move back a few inches while you try to finagle throttle and clutch and brake position" issue, at least with a bit of left-foot driving in the worst situations.
In my very simplistic imagination, this could even be achieved by a simple horizontal bar that protrudes from the top of the brake pedal arm and rests on (but is otherwise not connected to) the clutch pedal arm, thereby allowing the clutch to be pressed independently, but would force it to be pressed in when you hit the brakes. Heck, put that bar on a swivel so that you can disable this "feature".
Am I under-thinking this? Is there a reason this wasn't implemented / thought of? Safety or emergency reasons? Additional clutch wear and tear?
I know some people use the parking brake, and so do I in some situations, but I can't help but feel that it's more of a band-aid; I am not "parked" after all, just stuck in traffic.