Modern society have become obsessed with electronic gismos, and this extends to their cars. I notice that new car ads are inclined to only promote the electronic devices installed on a particular car, as though nothing else matters. The vehicles economy, performance, handling, space, comfort, reliability and sometimes looks, are not even mentioned. or shown.
This electronic age we are all now living in, to a greater or lesser degree, is starting to consume us all, at least those in the developed world Before I make comment on modern car electronic driver assists, I will take advantage of this opportunity to comment generally on this technological age we are now living in.
From my observations, many of these so called wonders are just a means of making things easier. What is wrong with that, you say? Well, where should I start? Firstly, what are the benefits of making something easier? In most cases, it panders to our ever increasing laziness. Is this a real advantage? What about the absolute necessity of us humans being active if we wish to live a healthy and productive life that is? While our bodies require movement, our brains also require activity. The old saying “use it or lose it” definitely applies in this situation. Many so called labor saving devices only make us lazier.
As for cell phones (called mobile phones in this part of the world), well they are not really phones any more, they are everything but. I only own a very basic flip phone and there is nothing “smart” about it. I use it for emergencies and it is never turned on while I am home. That what the land line is for. I used one of those 1980’s “brick” phones in that era and I definitely found it advantageous in those days. While phones can help people keep in contact with each other, they do not need to turn your air conditioning on from a distance, make a bet with your bookie, play a song, and run a pornographic movie, all at the same time.
These devices certainly come between individuals in a group of friends, as in many cases, all those involved are on their devices completely oblivious of those around them. The art of a successful face to face conversation, with the use of facial expressions, is being lost. Not only that, people seem to be more concerned by what someone is texting on their phone, than what someone standing next to them is saying. I am not sure where all this is heading!
Now, let’s talk about driver assist devices, sometime called safely devices, on modern vehicles. We all know what driving while on your cell phone (mobile phone) does to safety. It is anti-safety, it is dangerous and causes driver death and destruction. Why? It diverts ones attention to the job in hand – being in full control of your vehicle. We all know that it only takes a second or two for disaster to strike.
What are you trying to say, you may ask? It gets right back to that earlier point I made about modern electronic devices making life easier. Driving a motor vehicle requires consistent and full attention to be safe to you and others on the road, it is also important that you do not become complacent or lulled into a false sense of security. The easier it becomes the less likely you are to pay your car, the road and other road users the required attention. Safe driving requires concentration, and making a car quieter and easier to drive dulls the apparent need for such concentration. That means the mind will wander and the concentration level will automatically decrease. That is not safer!
One other point that may become a problem in the future as electronics become more and more critical, is that of reliability. I hate to think of what will happen when the automatic lane device or braking mechanism fails. It is only a matter of time, then who is going to be responsible?
I have three vehicles I drive regularly, a late model SUV, an 2003 4WD and a 1969 390GT Ford Ranchero. While the later cars are easier to drive, I actually have to concentrate and drive the Ranchero. It makes it that much more enjoyable and at the end of a weekend drive I feel that I have achieved something. A sense of satisfaction, which unfortunately, the younger generations are loosing quickly.
I could go on and on about this and allied subjects, but that will do for now.