Monday, February 25, 2008

Driving Assistance

As a continuation of my post about the F 200 and how adding some features that improve upon safety issues (specifically, I mentioned the lighting) are welcomed (with some qualifications of course), I am going to expand by citing an article I read today on msnbc.com.

In the article, the move to add such electronic features as blind spot warning, rear view cameras and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) standard on all vehicles by legislation is discussed. The latter has been mandated as such and should be universal by 2011. The slide show showing "The top Ten Safety Features for the Future" includes a picture of a current ESC button to turn it on/off. Once it becomes standard I wonder if you will still be able to turn it off since in certain conditions you don't want the ESC on?

Adding such features in the name of safety is again, a welcomed addition despite adding a great deal of complexity as long as they are SECONDARY to the driver's intuition/actions to control the car in my opinion. The driver must be left to serve as the omnipotent authority over the car and its supplemental features for overall safety.

As people become busier and more distracted while driving as time goes on (ie: Driving while talking on a cell phone) it would be naïve to say that adding such technology is only a Band-aid and we need to focus 100% on eliminating distractions and forcing people to be more attentive drivers. Therefore, adding this technology does help (help, not replace) people's ability to drive safely, which is a good thing as long as it remains supplemental to the human brain. Particularly if the system malfunctions and the driver is left with only his ability to maneuver as we have since the advent of the automobile, long before the idea of a computer controlling our actions came about.

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