What Happens When We Make Our Cars Easier to Drive?
Driving an automatic car is one of those things that you’re able to do forever once you get the hang of it, kind of like riding a bike. For the people in the world gifted with a talent for driving a manual, the world is their oyster. However, not every car can be considered easy to drive, whether you know what you’re doing or not, but automotive manufacturers are trying to change that.
There are a lot of features being added to cars that are making the basics pretty easy to master, but as technology gets better are things going to get more complicated? Sure, newer cars can park themselves for you, but how foolproof is that system? Also, can it be relied on completely by replacing sound judgment and pure skill?
Easier, but More Complicated
Cars these days can park themselves, let you know if you’re leaving a lane, alert you if there are cars in your blind spot, tell you if you’re getting too close to another car and some cars can even drive themselves. So technology has gotten really good in recent years, but are we keeping up with the technology or are we leaving it all up to the car.
Of course, a car that parks itself makes things super easy when you live or work in a packed city and don’t have the luxury of a parking garage. However, many driver’s licensing instructors are wary about this new technology because it is making people lazy, thus making it impossible to teach the next generation of drivers how to parallel park. When a car can do it for you, does it make any sense to still learn the old-fashioned way? Well, in order to pass a driver’s test, in most states, you need to know how to park. So yes, there’s merit to getting the knack of things.
This is what we’re doing, however, we’re making things easier but complicating them at the same time.
Replacing Sound Judgment
Too many people are taking advantage of the newer automotive technology and are learning to be lackadaisical when it comes to the ability to drive. Rather than looking over our left shoulder to see if anyone is coming up in our blind spot on the highway, we simply rely on the car’s technology to give us that information. So what happens if the technology glitches or user error shuts the alert system off?
For a long time, the highways have become a dangerous place as people have thrown caution to the wind behind the wheel of a vehicle. We don’t pay attention when we should, road rage has become an increasingly serious problem, and do our phones really even need to be mentioned? Even with the advent of all of this technology, car makers are also adding in plenty of distracting entertainment features. Car stereos are louder and brightly colored, almost asking our attention to be diverted. When we lose our focus on the road for five seconds, anything can happen. Will the new car tech help then?
Newer technology gives us the ability to avoid collisions, stay in the right lane, and spot what we may not see, but none of it should be overriding our sensibility. Our judgment is one of the most important facets of being a licensed driver, but when the technology is telling us we don’t really have to pay attention anymore, why would we?
The best part of this is that none of these systems are completely foolproof. People can use GPS and still get lost if they’re not paying attention, right? So what makes drivers think that letting tech take the wheel is safe?
Certainly, the new technology is making our cars safer and a little bit easier to drive, but it’s also making us lazy. The new systems should work in conjunction with safe driving, it should never replace it. Even if your car has all the bells and whistles, do yourself a favor; park it yourself every once in awhile.