By on December 6, 2018

Subaru Lane Departure Warning, Image: Bestride.comTTAC commentator Volvo writes:

Hi Sajeev,

Why is there so much enthusiast hate on electronic driver’s assistance aids such as , , , front and side cameras, etc?

It reminds me of arguments against seat belts that arose in the ’70s. As a package, these are not that expensive to incorporate into a vehicle (I can retrofit a decent backup camera for less than $50) and perhaps should also be mandated rather than remaining expensive options.

Sajeev answers:

The phrase “not that expensive to incorporate” assumes your  is a for everyone in the autoblogosphere. Good luck with that, son! 

And backup cameras are now : considering the price/availability of smartphone cameras, it’s no surprise a dashboard’s multi function screen accommodates one. And if one camera is cheap-ish, incorporating 3 more won’t kill the pocketbook… right?

So the enthusiast hate likely revolves around:

  1. The of added items to a vehicle’s MSRP. Hence the popularity of our Ace of Base series?
  2. The durability of said items when ownership occurs outside the warranty period.
  3. The cost to replace sensors, cameras, modules, wiring, etc. after a collision without insurance. The ain’t cheap, the days of people paying for are numbered if such technology is mandated.

Not knowing the cost of adding seat belts back then, who knows their impact on MSRP relative to hourly wages, then comparing it to our predicament.

Perhaps there’s a better analogy.

Lincoln Mark VII ABS advertisement, Image: www.thelincolnmarkviiclub.org

Witness the proliferation of (EDIT: 4-wheel) anti-lock braking systems in the USA, from only available in 1985.5 Lincoln Continentals — sorry 1986 Corvette, you lost by 6 months — to standard equipment on GM vehicles by the mid-90s. GM made a big deal about , translating into ABS as standard equipment (). If you remember every mid-90s Pontiac with “ABS” emblazoned on their center caps, you know it was a big deal.

Perhaps another GM innovation reinforces the argument: how many manufacturers use  after Delphi’s implementation for the Cadillac STS? When someone sets the standard, multiple brands shall line up for the privilege, making for a palatable price for piston heads.

The point: someone’s gonna integrate/reproduce accident avoidance systems on a scale that lowers the price to cheap(ish)… but it’s gonna take time.

[Image: , ]

Send your queries to [email protected]com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.


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164 Comments on “Piston Slap: A Hatred of Mandated Safety Systems?...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I remember seeing some old window price stickers from the early 60s showing seatbelts to be a $10 option. Safety equipment is important, the biggest problem I see is getting used to some of it. It took me a long time not to “pump the brakes” in a slippery situation, but now I can’t imagine having a car without ABS

    • 0 avatar

      Pumping the brakes was never the correct answer. No human can pump fast enough to make that an effective way to stop or slow. Threshold braking was the answer (and still is on non-ABS cars, or on vehicles where the ABS system is malfunctioning).

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        In old-school driving, PJ, pumping didn’t mean, “stab the brake as rapidly as possible,” it meant to “threshold brake until you feel the traction let go, release the brakes and do it again–as often as necessary to come to a safe stop.” Granted, some people could never learn that lesson but some could and did. You also learned more about steering and throttle to try and maintain control, even in a slide, since most cars were RWD at the time.

        Today’s front-drive cars to me are actually more difficult to handle in snow and ice, even though they have the ability to pull themselves out of trouble (cart behind the horse, vs the pusher drive of the older cars with the horse behind the cart. Think about it.) I got used to feeling the tail try to swing and bringing it back in line; front drive cars you have to do almost the exact opposite and add a touch of throttle to try and pull the car into line.

        But when it comes to braking, both types of cars perform essentially the same… though at least until lately when it came to ‘black ice’ or otherwise ‘invisible’ ice, the ABS would think the car was at a dead stop… while you keep sliding into trouble. That ‘threshold and release’ technique still saved me one time as I was on an iced-over bridge headed for an intersection where the light had just turned red, nearly 500 feet in front of me. Now, I knew I was on a bridge and I was pretty sure I was on ice (we’d just had a snowstorm the night before) so I was almost literally crawling along the highway, maybe doing 20mph on the flat. Unfortunately, I was on a long, sweeping, downhill curve to the light at the bottom. I touched the brakes so lightly I couldn’t even feel any braking effort, but my steering said I was sliding. Release and the car would track the steering, touch the brakes and the car would slide. I did this I don’t know how many times as I made my way around that curve and finally came to a full stop… right in the middle of the intersection. Had I just locked down on the brakes, the ABS would have done nothing but let me slide off the road, helplessly.

        Again, you have to know how to brake and “pumping”, as I did it, worked, even if I didn’t stop quite as soon as I wanted.

    • 0 avatar

      My parents had seat belts installed in the ’57 Chevy wagon in 1960. I don’t ***know*** what they paid, but I doubt it was more than a couple of hundred dollars–adjusted for inflation–and it could have been well less than that. Various other cars had seat belts, and then shoulder harnesses installed until shoulder harnesses became mandatory.

      Regarding airbags, I wish that rather than mandating airbags, the gov’t had mandated protection standards and let the engineers figure out how to meet those. I might rather have more protective seat belt systems than airbags.

  • avatar
    ScarecrowRepair

    My main gripe is the failure to distinguish safety features which only protect me (seat belts, air bags) and safety features which protect other drivers (ABS, lane departure).

    Backup cameras fall somewhere in the middle gray zone, because while they do protect others, it’s only in situations where the driver is too stupid or in too much of a hurry to do the right thing, and it happens at slow speeds.

    People resent being told by a nanny government that they can’t buy a cheap car. In practical terms too, it’s unnecessary to mandate these features which insurance companies, economies of scale, and free markets would make ubiquitous anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      I love backup camera. When constantly parallel park in boston, no longer need to either feel my car stopped by bumper of the car behind or come out and check how close. Can make it into any “hole” in no time

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      ABS and lane departure protects the driver of the car too, or are you saying that your driving abilities are such that you can do a better job of modulating wheel lock up than a computer than can do it on an individual wheel basis?

      • 0 avatar
        SunnyvaleCA

        Seems there is some confusion interpreting Scarecrow’s post. He’s saying that when technology benefits extend to other people beyond the purchaser, the government may need to apply pressure, since the purchaser isn’t as willing to spend money for the benefit of other people. This is in contrast to seatbelts and airbags, which are for the benefit of the purchaser; in that case the government doesn’t need to prod the purchaser — it’s a personal expense for personal benefit that the individual can weight for himself or herself.

        • 0 avatar
          ScarecrowRepair

          I ain’t always very articulate to others :-O

          Basically yes, that seat belts are to my mind 99% nanny control. They like to use excuses like Think of the children or What if you give a ride to someone else, but it’s the same mindset that bans smoking in cars because kids might someday ride in them.

          Whereas regulating headlights or bumper height or hood ornaments has a large component of protecting others.

          Politicians and bureaucrats don’t see the difference, and don’t care. They want to expand their fiefdoms, and nothing else matters.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      Everything placed into a vehicles to try and prevent accidents is included and intended to protect you just as much as it is included and intended to protect others.

      Having a lane departure warning alert you that you are drifting out of a lane and possibly into an empty ditch by the side of the road does diddly-squat to protect others, but can sure help you and your medical/insurance bills out.

    • 0 avatar
      Ol Shel

      Sometimes, I want to depart from my lane (apex clipping) or get a little bit too close to the car ahead when passing, these systems can interfere.

      Part of the problem is poorly-calibrated systems. My Honda applies the brakes when I charge those tight, perfectly-banked right-handers, and cuts power if I get wheelspin trying to get into a gap in traffic. My old WRX would release the brakes any time I went over a bump (washboard at the end of off-ramps was extremely problematic). On occasion, these systems can make us less safe.

      Mostly, these are positive additions, but I want the option to turn them off, too.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        On the Hondas, at least, you can turn off everything, including VSA. (You have to actually turn on the lane-keep assist at every ignition cycle, or else you’ll only get the roadway-departure mitigation.)

    • 0 avatar

      I would love a backup camera. In so many cars of this era it’s very hard to see out the back window, including my ’08 Civic. The general lack of visibility drives me nuts. I’d rather instead of various cameras and warnings, that the feds would mandate visibility. That would make driving more of a pleasure, as well as increasing safety.

  • avatar

    I agree with Sajeev’s three reasons. Mandated safety equipment of all kinds has made new cars less affordable for many people which tends to keep more older and less-safe cars on the road for longer.

    I will add a reason I and many other people find to be equally important. I LOVE driving and take pride in having honed my skills over many decades. I find things like lane departure warnings, blind spot warnings, front and side cameras to be FAR more distracting than helpful. I almost never use cruise control, even on long trips, because I find it makes me lazier in perceiving the traffic flow and what I might need to adjust for in the flow ahead of me – so I surely do not want adaptive cruise control.

    So I just bought a new 2018 VW GTI in the plainer Model S version which does not come with anything other than the back up camera. And, yes, it is a 6 speed manual. It’s 6 year warranty will safely take me to at least age 80. Had I purchased the SE model with some of these safety items, my first question to the service department would be how to turn them off or dismantle their operation.

    • 0 avatar
      EquipmentJunkie

      Greetings GTI S Brother! I made the exact same purchase for the exact same reasons. I was telling my brother my reasoning just the other day. I wanted the LED headlights but didn’t want to tolerate the other garbage that came with the SE package. I’m happier with less.

      I became a GTI Protectionist. I bought a 4WD beater to daily drive since I quickly knew that I bought a unicorn that will only get rarer. My GTI does not see rain or snow.

      The new safety systems don’t really help for far too many drivers. My brother tells about his FIL who is a horrible driver. He proudly bought a new car in 2017 with all the proximity nonsense. He was convinced that it would help him. Nope. This guy still managed to get in a fender bender at a rest stop parking lot last Thanksgiving weekend. Ironically, the other driver with that same kind of nonsense in their vehicle. Neither driver knows how to use mirrors or pay attention to the warning system! What is gained?

    • 0 avatar
      d4rksabre

      Agreed. A lot of these driver assist features operate counter to the skills I’ve developed over the years driving cars that didn’t have even ABS or traction control. Driver assist features are not helpful for me. In fact, they make driving more difficult.

      The cost thing is spot on as well, and compounds my annoyance. These “features” that I don’t want or need in the first place are also prone to failure and cost a lot of money to fix.

      It’s going to get harder and harder to find vehicles that aren’t expensive, over-featured, junk. At some point the only thing left for purists is going to be the Transit van…

  • avatar
    18726543

    It helps a lot when the application of new tech is done well, because with new tech that sometimes isn’t the case.

    In the early 00’s I had a 1989 Cherokee with the Bendix 9 ABS system. That thing was a pile of garbage. Bendix decided to forego the typical vacuum brake booster and instead had the ABS module apply the brake assist. Imagine how an ABS system would age if it had to operate every time you applied the brakes instead of just every time a real ABS event was required. That’s exactly how this thing aged. Every 8-or-so key cycles I’d start it up and the ABS indicator would light, and I wouldn’t have brake assist. Lovely. I’d have to shut it down and start it again hoping the ABS would act properly that time.

    Cylinder deactivation, while not a safety measure, also had a pretty terrible start with the old V4-6-8. While automatic shoulder belts in the late 80’s/early 90’s weren’t the beginning of seatbelts, it was a pretty horrid way to implement them in order to skirt airbag implementation.

    There are plenty of other examples, but the key is when new tech is implemented awkwardly or overly invasively, whether it works or not it’ll earn some hatred. The best tech is tech you don’t even know is working.

  • avatar
    Vanillasludge

    People who resent mandatory safety features:

    A. Frequently have an exaggerated sense of their own driving skills
    B. Can not imagine that cars are driven by teens, seniors and drunk people who can’t control a vehicle in an emergency situation
    C. Refuse to acknowledge that through insurance and public funds we all pay a share of the cost of putting these freedom lovers back together after they fly through their windshield.

    • 0 avatar
      Jon

      People who welcome MANDATORY safety features:

      A. Frequently have little or no desire to hone their driving skills and would rather browse face while operating a vehicle.
      B. Refuse to acknowledge that inexperienced teens, seniors and/or drivers influenced by foreign substances are more likely to loose control of their vehicle in an emergency situation.
      C. Do not allow people to learn from their own mistakes by regulating everyday normal decisions at the cost of individual freedom.

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        Want to know an interesting fact?

        Everybody screws up at some point, no matter how careful or skilled they are. Do I know how to brake at the limit of adhesion? Decades of riding motorcycles have served me well in that regard. Do I have absolute confidence that I will do so perfectly every time and under all possible circumstances? No.

        This may be hard to believe, but honing survival skills and having powerful error-mitigation systems in operation are not only not mutually exclusive but are mutually reinforcing.

        • 0 avatar
          Jon

          Some safety systems help during emergency situations. Well functioning ABS-yes, seatbelts – yes.

          Other safety systems help the driver to disregard situational awareness while driving and instead rely on technology, that can and will fail, to pay attention for them.

          I am ok with technology that helps in an emergency situation, but against technology that alerts the driver that they may be entering an emergency situation.

          • 0 avatar

            Agreed, my feelings exactly. I prefer to make myself stay alert.

          • 0 avatar
            SlowMyke

            @Jon – this is the best response to all these drivers aids. Well put!

            Passive systems can be a good thing. All these active systems are a detriment to driver awareness, capability, and responsibility. Either let us drive or drive for us, but not this in between crap we’re dealing with now.

          • 0 avatar
            bunkie

            I know, I know, we’re all way above average drivers with cat-like reflexes and 20-10 night vision and resent having to pay for these mandated safety systems because they will limit our freedom and we don’t need them anyway.

            It’s time to be brutally honest about that. It’s a lie we tell ourselves. Worse, it’s a dangerous lie. As the roads get more crowded, the threat level goes up. In my opinion, it’s idiotic to argue against things like lane-departure warning because “the idiots will ignore it”. First, that’s a stupid blanket statement. If you’ve ever driven a car with the seat buzzers, you know that this is a crap argument. It’s bloody hard to ignore. Second, as I mentioned before, we all screw up. Yes, some people will ignore the warnings. But most won’t. And, I predict, the warnings will make people more aware of their own failings. If your car tells you that you need to pay attention, most people will heed that warning if only to reduce the annoyance factor. That will yield a net improvement in overall safety.

            This is, I am sure, not likely to be a popular opinion, but so be it. I’d rather be sharing the road with grandpa driving a car that will warn him when he strays out of his lane or that will brake for him if he doesn’t see the deer or child in the road. It will make things safer, period.

          • 0 avatar
            Jon

            @ bunkie

            These safety systems make the road safer for some drivers, not all. I still have excellent vision and excellent situational awareness (along with many other drivers). I should not be be forced via regulation to use the same assist or “safety” features that someone with less driving skill or situational awareness has.

            If grandpa wants those safety systems for his vehicle, then he can buy them for HIS vehicle. Passively forcing others to do the same through regulation is wrong.

          • 0 avatar
            SlowMyke

            @Bunkie, a few things-

            A. You’re not supposed to brake hard for animals. If slowing can help you avoid it, ok, but a panic brake for a deer in the road can help you lose control if you add any other inputs at the same time. It also tests anyone else’s reaction on the road around you. I personally don’t like that this is the appropriate logical way to deal with animals in the road, but it is generally the safest for drivers on the road.

            2. I’ve never had trouble staying in a lane. I’m not some God among men when it comes to driving, i just pay attention. This really isn’t a hard part of driving. If it is hard for someone, your example of a grandpa for instance, is rather have their driving ability reassessed than giving them a lane departure warning and calling it a day. When you’re ability to stay in the lane starts going, it means your vision or mental status is also declining. It’s a hard fact of life, but everyone has to hang up the keys eventually.

            As i said below in other posts, passive systems like abs are good. They don’t take control from the driver, just control the input or hold the driver in place (belts, airbags). But these systems designed to suddenly take control or start adding their own inputs are contradictory to having attentive drivers in control of their vehicles. Train people how to drive, and hold them to it. Don’t add these systems to make up for distracted and poor driving. Driving isn’t a difficult task. Most people can handle it if they’re prepared and focused.

          • 0 avatar
            Flipper35

            I agree that some people will assume the safety nannies will watch out for them and spend more time playing candy crush on their phone because of it. Not everyone will though and those people generally don’t need the intrusive systems.

      • 0 avatar
        afedaken

        People who disparage those who welcome MANDATORY safety features:

        A: Frequently conflate poor driving habits with safety assistance systems.
        B: Refuse to acknowledge that drivers who engage in bad behavior will do so regardless of the available safety assistance systems.
        C: Mistakenly believe that safety assistance systems somehow absolve folks of the responsibility and consequences of their own actions.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      +1

      It’s why I will never give money to ABATE, despite being a life-long motorcyclist.

    • 0 avatar
      DweezilSFV

      @ Vanillasludge: Tell that to the families of the 200 or more people who were killed by the early air bags which snapped their necks.

      Or those injured or killed by Takata and it’s defective “safety” products.

      ‘C. Refuse to acknowledge that through insurance and public funds we all pay a share of the cost of putting these freedom lovers back together after they fly through their windshield.’ Cute. Something only you have suggested as the only motivating reason to question the cost and effectiveness of trying to wring out that last 0.000005% out of passive safety devices.

      I have been paying property taxes for years to a voracious and financially irresponsible school system yet I have no kids. Life sucks and it’s unfair. What’s your point ? Just using your apple/orange logic.

      Enjoy that lobotomized, self driving, risk eliminating “smart” car when it arrives. Enjoy the Good Citizen points,speed limit compliance control and 360 month loan.

      Don’t forget to transmit your route plan to the Ministry of Travel before you head out.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Don’t forget that lap belts are as deadly in a frontal collision as being unbelted, just with a higher likelihood of a spinal injury than being unbelted. They were another stage of early ‘safety’ legislation. Now people who farm out their thinking to the government are smart though.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Snowflaking?

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Vanillasludge,

      actually, all this automation will lead to skill degradation and while it will definitely save lives it will create tons of small accidents. This is actually happening. There are situations on the road when only human can do something.

      I guess, there also will be no movies when someone runs over someone else. Because cars wouldn’t allow it!

      • 0 avatar
        MoparRocker74

        That raises an interesting question: if the car can’t run someone over, what happens when some tweeker, crackhead or gang of scumbags surrounds you with intent of carjacking, robbing or who knows what?The short answer would be run their asses over. If the car won’t let you take evasive action, I guess you’re just getting shot/stabbed/raped/etc.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “DUI arrests in South Florida plummet. Uber, Lyft, millennials among the reasons why”

      https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/article215758380.html

      “insurance and public funds”

      DUIs have declined and overall cost of fatalities will likely decline slowly as time goes on, but don’t look for either insurance or collection of “public funds” to decrease.

  • avatar
    Ltd1983

    Why do we hate them?

    I have a 2014 that has rear & front parking sensors, as well as lane departure warning. They are awful. Basically anytime I hit the turn signal, beeeeeeeeeeep. The car in the next lane can be 4 cars lengths back, but I still get a ding. I put it in reverse, beeeeeeepp. To let me know there are cars driving on the road 40 feet past the parking lot I’m in.

    Now you’re telling me the car is going jam on the brakes, or yank the steering wheel every time it beeps? No GD way, I’d set fire to it and take the insurance check after Day 1.

  • avatar
    notapreppie

    My psychologist explained to me that often (most?) times, anger directed towards external things is due to internal problems. It’s caused when you are forced to see yourself in a less than positive way.

    I think in at least some of the cases, detractors don’t like these active safety mechanisms because it forces them to admit that they aren’t as safe as they think they are. Every time the car beeps during a lane change, it’s a reminder that they didn’t use their signal like they should have. Every time the car beeps and applies the brakes when the car in front of them stops quickly, it reminds them that they were following too close.

    They don’t like it because it reminds them that they are the menace and it’s only luck and other people’s caution that’s prevented them from causing more accidents.

    • 0 avatar
      18726543

      I find these gizmos annoying for a somewhat contrary reason. I’m a very safe driver who gets frustrated with people who can’t seem to signal when turning/changing lanes, or dart from lane to lane without a blindspot check. It’s annoying to me that I would have to have all these systems on my new vehicle because of the unsafe driving characteristics of other motorists.

    • 0 avatar
      ScarecrowRepair

      There is also the loss of control. One of the reasons people drive when buses, trains, or car pools are available, is because they want the privacy and independence of their own car. Then along comes the government and mandates a bunch of features which they don’t need and which actively conspire to make them less safe as drivers. Whose care are they driving, anyway?

      People who don’t recognize this, or who actively sneer at it, are control freaks who can’t imagine anyone else having different outlooks on life, or who do recognize it and actively want to eradicate it because they can’t stand that other people have different lives.

      • 0 avatar
        DweezilSFV

        Excellent. You mean they’re not just knuckle dragging “freedom lovers” ?

        Well said.

      • 0 avatar
        Jon

        @ ScarecrowRepair

        Recognizing differences goes both ways. If you want the safety systems, you can buy them for your own vehicle. Just don’t passively force them on me and others through regulation and legislation.

        • 0 avatar

          Agreed.

        • 0 avatar
          afedaken

          That would be great if you could simply not influence my by means of physical collision with your own car. Go build your own private limited access highway, and drive on it. I’m ok with that, you’re not putting me in danger.

          I for sure know that I’m not the best driver. Maybe you are. Maybe you’re God’s gift to the driving community, an unholy creation resulting from a one night stand of gene splicing from Mario Andretti, Dale Earnhardt, and Jack Baruth. But I don’t know your driving skills from Adam. And what about that jerk tailgating you 2 feet off your bumper?

          So yeah, I do want you to have the very best in warning systems, selfishly for MY OWN SAFETY. And if that means I end up paying more for my vehicle, that’s a minor price in my opinion.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “So yeah, I do want you to have the very best in warning systems, selfishly for MY OWN SAFETY. And if that means I end up paying more for my vehicle, that’s a minor price in my opinion.”

            If I were to happen upon you in traffic, I’d go out of my way to keep my rebuilt-title Audi one foot off your bumper in traffic, selfishly for MY OWN SATISFACTION. And if that means I end up rear-ending you and causing thousands of dollars in damage and hassle, that’s a minor price in my opinion.

          • 0 avatar
            Jon

            @ afedaken

            Very few people have gifts of driving excellence. I certainly did not. I was in three collisions from the age of 16-20, all my fault. Those accidents made me realize that I was a poor driver who needed to improve. I took the next 1.5 decades to train myself in defensive driving and disciplined myself into good driving habits. I did not expect anyone or anything to do the work for me.

            Driving assist features take the responsibility of developing your own safe driving disciplines away from you and place that responsibility with a corporate entity. If you want your safety to be the responsibility of corporation (insert vehicle manufacturer here), you are welcome to buy their products. However, if you want the very best of warning systems for MY vehicle, then you should pay for those as well.

  • avatar
    jatz

    Beepy-flashy things in the instrument array only add confusion and uncertainty to suddenly perilous situations.

    An old school driver grounded in the physical and mechanical reality of what’s going on right now with the conveyance in which one’s ass is situated doesn’t need the distraction.

    A new age driver with no grasp of momentum, tire grip or braking time will be clueless as to what the nannies are squawking about anyway.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    While price – purchase and replacement in the event of an accident – may be legitimate reasons to hate driver assistance technology, most who dislike it find it intrusive, distracting and representative of the nanny state.

    And here’s the truth: The technology simply isn’t ready for prime time regardless of how much some people may want it. I have a number of friends with different brands of cars who have experienced false positives with their automatic braking systems. As in, the car slammed on the brakes when there was no imminent collision. One system goes crazy when it sees oncoming cars in the other lane.

    The lane departure warning systems often want you to drive like an old lady. They don’t help anything or anybody. They just annoy and distract.

    The worst is Subaru, which is beginning to install cameras inside the car to spy on the driver. They use facial recognition technology to decide whether you’re looking at the road the way they wants you so. If not, the car will slow down and eventually stop. Do you expect me to actually PAY for this intrusion? If you want it, perhaps you should be taking mass transit.

    And, when might arguably want such technology working for you, it gives up the ghost and shuts down – as in bad weather. And it doesn’t even have to be raining or snowing very hard.

    Again: The technology isn’t ready yet. For those who think it’s better than nothing, talk to the parents of young children who were killed in parking lot fender-benders while in vehicles with first-generation airbags. It was one thing to test new technology when I was racing cars. I will not be a beta test dummy as a consumer.

    It would be one thing if one could simply turn off all of this driver-assistance crap. I’d still resent paying for it but I could deal with being able to turn it off and having the default remain off even through key cycles. But most automakers don’t give you that option – at least not with everything. Most allow you to turn off lane departure warning/lane change assist. Most do NOT let you turn off automatic braking. Most also have the system turn back off after you turn the engine iff and then re-start the car. Subaru doesn’t let you turn anything off, which us why I’ll never buy another one.

    Let’s face it: This annoying, instrusive and unfinished technology is really a way to enable a generation of drivers who cannot or will not look up from their phones. The automakers like it because they have plans for you to be focusing your attention on offers made to you via your dashboard acreen while they sell your personal information to third parties.

    As for me, I won’t buy a new car unless I can turn this technology off – even if I have to pull a fuse or two.

    • 0 avatar
      afedaken

      “The technology simply isn’t ready for the prime time.”

      Now see, THIS is a reasonable argument. Safety systems should work reliably, and as intended.

      Backup cameras for the most part do, as do modern ABS systems, seatbelts, and (Takata not withstanding) most airbags/impact curtains.

      Lane departure warning systems and auto brakes? I’m not sold on them yet, but even if I was, statistical analysis and more rigorous real-world testing ought to be part of the process, regardless of how I feel about them.

    • 0 avatar
      wdburt1

      Bravo!

    • 0 avatar
      wdburt1

      I think we can distinguish between those devices that can help us do what we cannot do for ourselves, like cross traffic backup sensors, and devices that assume that we are not doing what we should be doing, like lane departure sensors.

      I encountered the latter on a 2018 Honda Accord loaner and as a result will never buy one. But I am installing cross traffic sensors on the 2007 Accord I picked up used earlier this year.

  • avatar
    jmo2

    There is a very strong Luddite streak among many internet car enthusiasts.

    There is also the fox and the grape aspect. If someone can’t afford something they defensively denigrate it in order to feel better about themselves.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fox_and_the_Grapes

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      Some of us may be luddites. Most of us are not. I’ve always been an early adaptor. But this stuff is just plain intrusive. That word seems to apply to a lot of technology these days. We seem to have turned a corner into a very bad neighborhood. And it’s not the government we need to fear – it’s private industry.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo2

        Most TTAC commenters are confirmed, dyed in the wool,
        Luddites.

        You’ll recall the B&B certainty that the Prius would be an unreliable nightmare that wouldn’t make it to 80k miles due to all that new fangled tech.

        • 0 avatar
          Jon

          Every once in a while, i buy a car or two at a local auction, fix it up and resell it for a few dollars. At the last auction i went to, there was a former taxi 2007 Prius with 589,000 miles on it. I always wonder how many batteries it went through; and I sure would like to know the overall cost of maintaining the car over 11 years.(just out of curiosity)

          • 0 avatar
            ZoomZoom

            Well, I don’t know about a half million miles… But I can tell you that the Prius battery will last you a dozen years or so if you’re somewhere in the range of 150 to 200k miles. That’s with a sample size of 1 of course.

            And JM02, that is a very over generalized and ignorant comment. Luddites indeed.

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            “I can tell you that the Prius battery will last you a dozen years or so if you’re somewhere in the range of 150 to 200k miles. That’s with a sample size of 1 of course.”

            A friend’s battery in her ’05 lasted about ten years and as many miles as yours.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Many of us thought that in 2004/05 at the auction including seasoned wholesalers. I wasn’t there for Volt/Leaf but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were skeptics then too. Being careful with one’s floorplan is not necessarily a bad thing.

      • 0 avatar
        jatz

        “And it’s not the government we need to fear – it’s private industry.”

        Bravo. Ceaseless escalation of the Bells & Whistles Race with its endemic febrile oversell and hype from vendors to utterly nontechnical consumers is a modern scourge.

      • 0 avatar
        wdburt1

        We live in a tech bubble.

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    For every advance in making the road a safer place there is a cost. My personal exposure to the cost of these advances came from a windshield replacement on my 2017 Honda Ridgeline.

    Equipped with a forward camera/sensor suite that assisted in rain-sensing wipers and forward collision warnings, my windshield replacement, cost $1,000. Not for the glass but for the “alignment and reprogramming” of the forward camera/sensors.

    Previously, a windshield replacement ran about $250.

    Many people live in places where a windshield replacement is a rare occurrence. For those of us where it can sometimes be an annual occurrence (re Alberta) that’s a high price to pay for “standard” safety.

    PS- I have also heard that owners can void their warranty on vehicles equipped with safety systems if they raise or lower the height of their vehicles. For example a lifted Toyota Tacoma or a lowered Ford Mustang. True?

    • 0 avatar
      jmo2

      I would think raising or lowering your vehicle would have always voided your warranty. The vehicle was rigorously tested with a given suspension setup, level of vibration, etc. How could a company warranty something that’s so different from what they delivered to you?

      • 0 avatar
        CSJohnston

        I was under the impression that certain companies that worked with manufacturers could have their products covered under standard warranties (like Roush for example). With the introduction of these new safety systems, many of those same aftermarket suppliers were no longer able to provide that even on models that had been previously allowed to be covered under warranty (ie Tacoma/Tundra)

    • 0 avatar
      notapreppie

      In the US the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act prevents automakers from voiding warranties on components not affected by modifications. For instance, they can’t void the warranty on the suspension because you replaced your stereo.

      So, the dealer can prove that the change you made damaged the malfunctioning system, then they can void the warranty on that part.

      It gets a little hairy with these newer systems that are more complicated. The system may not electronically or mechanically damaged due to being lifted and yet still not work correctly. So, it’s anybody’s guess.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I like backup cameras and safety features that stay in the background, but the beep/flashing stuff I don’t see the appeal of.

    I like TPMS in theory, but in practice I’ve dealt with enough faults that I’m sour on them.

    • 0 avatar

      I put a set of winter tires on wheels on a 2015 Fiesta ST without the TPMS. It takes 20 miles for the system to know it is not getting proper signals – a totally useless system.

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        I bought snow tires and wheels for our ’17 Sienna with TPMS sensors. Sorry, Toyota only “knows” one set of sensors at a time, therefore you must get it reprogrammed every time at the dealer, which negates any time or cost savings with dedicated snow tires and wheels.

        It’s not necessarily the cost, but the principle of the matter. I don’t want to be at the mercy of the dealer service department for something this simple. Toyota doesn’t see it this way and its a limitation of the system itself.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          gearhead, check out ATEQ’s Quikset, it’s $130ish and will store the TPMS RFIDs for multiple cars. I agree it sucks when manufacturers cheap out and don’t include the functionality to store 2 sets of ids, my parents’ ’09 RX350 has a handy button you can press and switch between two stored sets.

    • 0 avatar
      jatz

      “I like TPMS in theory, but in practice I’ve dealt with enough faults that I’m sour on them.”

      I’ve already had two TPMS valve/sensor units on the same set of tires replaced for corrosion-caused leaks and my wife’s car is now showing the same symptoms.

      Tire shop I go to keeps examples of rotted TPM units on their counter to show customers what’s happening.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Where are these sensors located? In my case, every time I’ve had tires replaced, the TPMS gets replaced with the tire as part of the valve stem. I’ve never run into issues in any car I’ve owned that had them installed… starting with my ’08 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.

        • 0 avatar
          jatz

          The ones I’ve seen are directly attached to the base of the stem inside the tire:

          https://www.carid.com/images/standard/items/tpm180-2.jpg

          I’ve also seen one with the flat plane of the chip perpendicular to the stem, not edge-mounted like the one in the photo.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            That, therefore, suggests that whomever is replacing your tires is not installing those sensors correctly… permitting air to leak through an un-sealed thread connection on the valve stem. Are they not supposed to put some form of plumber’s tape or thread sealant on the screw portion before installing them? The corrosion you were experiencing could be galvanic corrosion between different metals (aluminum to steel, for instance.)
            A thread sealer should prevent that corrosion.

  • avatar
    SlowMyke

    I dislike the new bout of safety tech because of the reasons in which they are being considered necessary – lazy, poor auto design being shored up with buggy, intrusive systems.

    I’ve driven in vehicles with forward sensing collision systems, and they were overly sensitive and sent false alarms for things such as going over railroad tracks. Driving along in a perfectly safe manner and having the windshield light up with flashing red and stay beeping at you is less than pleasant and also distracting. I pay attention when i drive, i don’t dick around with my phone or other distractions. I don’t need the car to tell me when it thinks i should brake, i already know.

    Same goes for lane assist and blind spot monitoring. Most of these systems require you to look away from the road to see the alert, so what good is that? Blind spot monitoring especially, since it usually requires you to look at the mirror. So if you’re already looking at the mirror to see the little light, why not just use the damn mirror in the first place?

    If you want to have the buzzing seat and eye monitoring system to watch for drowsy drivers, i could get on board with that. That is something that actually makes sense to me. But regular lane assist? Again, i pay attention to driving. Last i checked, staying in a lane isn’t terribly difficult. And the few situations where lanes might be questionable are the exact situations where lane assist doesn’t work. So what’s the point?

    And the system i will refuse to have as long as possible is there automatic breaking/steering. Absolutely not, no thanks. I will handle the driving for myself, i don’t want the car to make extreme decisions that may or may not contradict what I’m trying to do.

    All of these systems are introduced for 2 reasons – as i said initially, bad auto design, and additionally, bad driver education. So fix the real issues here and let’s start having cars designed to facilitate good driving, not try to correct for bad driving. Can we get cars with appropriately sized windows and belt line that don’t eliminate and downward point of view to the road? And also, headlights are finally starting to get looked at. And then the bad driving is obvious, too – we need to actually teach people how to drive and enforce it. I’d much rather pay more for driver education than for awful driver assist aids that i don’t need or want.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo2

      “why not just use the damn mirror in the first place?”

      Because the mirror doesn’t show you what’s in your blind spo. . Hence the name…blind spot.

      • 0 avatar
        Drew8MR

        then learn how to adjust your mirrors properly. You sure don’t need to be admiring your rear quarter panel.

        • 0 avatar
          notapreppie

          Most cars still have blind spots even with properly adjusted mirrors.

          Most blind spot system have an amber light in the mirrors that should be visible in your peripheral vision. That should be enough to warn you if something is in your blind spot without having to take your eyes off the road.

          • 0 avatar
            SlowMyke

            I’ll add this to my poor vehicle design category. There are a decent amount of vehicles that you can adjust the mirror to eliminate blind spots. Unfortunately i don’t think this is so much the case with most new cars anymore. Small mirrors, high beltlines, and slivers for windows are creating stupid-large blind spots. It would be great to make vehicles with outward visibility as opposed to some systems to correct for the lack of it.

            And train drivers how to adjust their mirrors and know when it’s appropriate to check them and your blind spot if it exists. And no, you shouldn’t see your car in the side mirror if it’s adjusted correctly.

          • 0 avatar
            TMA1

            SlowMyke, it’s the blind leading the blind. I still remember my driving instructor telling me to adjust my mirrors until I can just see the car. Obviously not correct, but no one I knew knew differently at the time.

            My Ford actually has those little blind spot mirrors embedded in the mirrors, which are great. But they seemed to be designed to only work when the mirrors are pointed at the fenders, i.e., the wrong way that everyone learns to use.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Right. Mine are adjusted squarely into my blind spots, creating 2 smaller blind spots on each side, only a biker can fit in.

          But bikers should know better than to hang out in blind spots. Then if they’re splitting lanes, god help them.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            Not only this, but the damned rimless Gentex electrochromic inside mirrors with a shape like the facial expression of a demonic, demented clown are smaller than the “normal” ones from a couple years back, and they’re finding their way into everything save for some HyundKia products. If anything, the mirror should be longer on the bottom than the top, or a simple rectangle, kind of like the non-autodimmers in VAG products, also from a few years back.

  • avatar
    gtem

    Both lane-assist equipped rental cars I’ve tried where the system is on by default have bordered on dangerous to drive when the system introduces an unexpected “nudge” in the steering, in the rain at 70mph on a twisty highway. Absolutely absurd. That was a CX5, the rental XC90 was much the same, on twisty country back roads driving to my brother’s past dark, smoothing out the corners by approaching or putting a wheel on the line made the system flip out and try to “help.” Stupid.

  • avatar
    arach

    I think the key word is MANDATED.

    We hate anything MANDATED, because that means you have no choice and you must accept something. that means you must accept the COST and the NEGATIVES attributed to that MANDATED item.

    For example, I bet the majority of TTAC members donate money to causes they support. However, I bet 95% of them would be up in arms if the government mandated they donate money to specific causes. The Mandating piece is what they are getting up in arms over, NOT the causes.

    So I don’t think enthusiasts innately HATE that car companies OFFER safety systems. Where they truly get up in arms is when safety systems become MANDATED.

  • avatar
    arach

    Car Companies need to change the name of these techs.

    I hated lane departure assist until I realized it was really an “Apex Detection system”. The minute I accepted thats what it was, I found it wonderful to get a beep at the turn in point, and then again right as I hit the apex on a curve.

  • avatar
    nutbags

    I don’t mind the added safety systems if they are optional. Let me chose what I want or make them all part of a safety package. My main concerns with these systems is the complexity, repair costs, and added weight. Good drivers don’t need them but they make other drivers more lax because they no longer have to worry about skill of driving.

  • avatar
    TheDutchGun

    One unexpected consequence of all the added equipment is it is driving up collision repair costs.

    So while the number of collisions will be marginally less, the resultant costs of those collisions is substantially more.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Foley

      “Don’t talk to me about the cost! If it saves even ONE LIFE, it’s worth it!”

      – a dumbass responding to your valid point

      “You wouldn’t say that if it was YOUR CHILD that was saved!”

      – another dumbass responding to my response to your valid point

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    Maybe they should mandate that we carry yellow vests in our cars. That way, when we come to our senses and rise up against them, we’ll be able to recognize likeminded individuals.

  • avatar

    The Pre-Collision system with brake assist, Lane Departure Alert and Adaptive Cruise Control are not mandated by law, but in 2017 Toyota introduced these as standard safety features across all trim levels at no extra cost because they believe in safety. Honda and Nissan also have them, but some luxury vehicles do not or you have to pay extra for it. On Toyota you can turn these safety features off if you don’t like the annoying beeps. While manufactures can maker their cars safer, they cannot make the driver safer

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      I’m sorry, but you’re being naive. The automakers agreed to “voluntarily” put this technology in all of their vehicles by, I think, 2025 (2023?) as part of a back room deal with the government to keep the feds off their backs in other areas – like fuel economy. And the public had no input at all. Toyota believes in what’s good for Toyota. Every other automaker operates the same way.

      • 0 avatar
        Jon

        I suspect that is was also for testing purposes before the mandate was implemented. Who better to test the safety systems on than 50,000+ consumer operated vehicles. Toyota probably collected way more data on consumer operated vehicles than on their test tracks and engineering platforms. This way, they can claim to have worked out more “bugs” than competitors vehicles before the mandate is implemented.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      here is my offer: if car collides and system is on – automaker pays repairs. If system is off – the driver

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Electronically controlled anti-skid braking systems were standard on 1974 Lincoln Mark IVs. They were optional on Lincolns and T-Birds since 1969. It was a rear wheel only system. I know because The Old Man always fully optioned his vehicles so we had this system on multiple cars and the sales rep commented when it became standard.

    A more sophisticated system was offered as an option on the Imperial starting in 1971.

    They were also standard on the Jensen FF.

    Sorry to have to correct an otherwise good discussion.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The International Traveall and 1/2 ton 2wd pickups had the rear wheel only version of the Kelsey Hayes ASB as offered on the Imperial as an option in 71 and 72 but had very few takers.

      Yes that was ASB as it was called Anti Skid Brakes at the time.

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        Probably because jet aircraft have had anti-skid brakes nearly since their creation and the functionality is largely the same. Tying in with airplane technology was(is?) a popular tool for sales.

        I don’t know if the change to cars having “anti-lock” was a legal idea (i.e. you can still skid a car with anti-lock brakes) or just a marketing change.

    • 0 avatar

      Good point, so I better amend it to mean the introduction of 4-whl ABS. After driving a 1972 Mark IV with ABS, I really wasn’t impressed with performance (well-maintained example), not to mention the computer processer took up a huge chunk of the passenger side of the dash (they shrunk it down in the late-70s)

      The 80s 4-wheel systems however, are generally able to make an old car stop like a modern one.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    @Sajeev: “The cost to replace sensors, cameras, modules, wiring, etc. after a collision without insurance. The retail price of these bits ain’t cheap, the days of people paying for repairs out of pocket are numbered if such technology is mandated.”

    The problem with this argument is the fact that cars today are far more often written off as totaled by insurance agencies simply because such repair and replacement costs are so high. Getting a tailgate smashed in is nothing. If, however, any damage is done to bumper mounts or structural framework in the vicinity, all bets are off–the car is probably totaled. Let a salvager fix it if they want; they want nothing to do with it any more.

    • 0 avatar
      Felix Hoenikker

      I had a lot of fun with the F&I guy when I bought my 2014 Accord. The numbnuts was trying his best to sell me a third party warranty. I politely declined several times but he persisted in mush minded jabbering about the cost of “the sensors” and how this warranty would protect me from the horrors of replacing one. He may have been referring to the sensors for the nannies, but was not able to express himself in a coherent manner.
      I had to remind him that the only “sensors” on the LX model I was buying were engine parts such as oxygen sensors which usually cost $35-40. That shut him up long enough to get the deal finished without the warranty.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Quite simply, statistics prove that some safety features improve the survival rate of those involved in collisions.

    Insurance companies live or die by statistical evidence. The number of fatalities per vehicle collision, has greatly decreased with the advent of mandated safety features.

    Case closed, based on actual evidence.

    As for all those ‘against’ having additional ‘safety features’. Well I have children out their driving and would very much like to see every vehicle on the road equipped with these advanced devices, to protect my children from distracted drivers, bad drivers, ‘boy racers’ and those who overestimate their own driving abilities.

    Much like those who live in the ‘snow belt’ and refuse to use winter tires, I cannot comprehend putting a ‘price’ on human lives. If required, then I will (have) go without take out food, beer, movies, vacations, etc in order to afford them. It reminds me too much of Ford and GM accountants costing the price of accidents versus improving the design of their Corvairs, Pintos and Explorers.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      “As for all those ‘against’ having additional ‘safety features’. Well I have children out their driving and would very much like to see every vehicle on the road equipped with these advanced devices, to protect my children from distracted drivers, bad drivers, ‘boy racers’ and those who overestimate their own driving abilities.”

      This sort of “muh children” argument to saddle everyone around you (potentially involuntarily) with every kind of extra cost or restriction is kind of insane. At some point we just accept that certain things are out of our control. You want to cocoon yourself and your family in a super safe vehicle that will keep you on the road and minimize risk of injury in an accident? Fantastic. Wishing for some kind of magic control over other peoples’ cars to prevent “boy racers” from breaking the speed limit or whatever the implication is, absolutely insane.

      “Get these awful poor people and their cheap/old cars off the roads and away from my precious children!!!”

    • 0 avatar
      Jon

      Why not just teach your children to identify these dangers, and drive defensively around them them and/or avoid them, instead of relying on others to do it for them?

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Neither of the above responses are based on fact.

        As per all statistics occupants of vehicles with modern safety features are less likely to die in a collision.

        Does it matter who is responsible.

        One poster states correctly that ‘some things are out of our control’, while the other believes that defensive driving would prevent all collisions.

        We know that statistically most of us are average. Yet nearly every poster here believes that they are a far above average driver. Which is statistical nonsense. Cognitive dissonance, at work.

        As for the demeaning: “Get these awful poor people and their cheap/old cars off the roads and away from my precious children!!!” post. In Ontario we have strict regulations regarding vehicle safety inspections and police officers regularly pull unsafe vehicles off the road. And for a very good reason, if your vehicle is unsafe, it is putting everyone else on the road in danger. Much like driving impaired.

        Nobody has answered the question, “What price do you put on a human life?” We know the stories about how allegedly accountants at Ford and GM did exactly that.

        We recently removed my mother’s driving license. She has driven over 65 years without an at fault accident. As the Doctor explained to her “every driver is a good driver until the second that they are not”. These mandatory safety devices help to delay or prevent that split second.

        • 0 avatar
          Jon

          Do you read? Nowhere did anyone state that defensive driving would prevent ALL collisions. Accidents are just that… Accidents, often unprevantable. Most of the time it does not matter who is responsible in an accident unless there is willful negligence.

          Driver assist features encourage willful negligence because they encourage the driver to rely on faulty and unreliable technology instead of developing their own safe driving habits.

          Life is priceless. That is precisely why we should instill safe driving habits in our children instead of relying on everyone else do it around them.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Jon, obviously much better than you. :-)

            Ask those professionally involved in traffic investigations and they will confirm that they prefer to refer to ‘traffic accidents’ they are collisions and the great majority are avoidable and caused by driver error.

            I agree with your final paragraph. However the first paragraph is nonsensical.

            The 2nd would be useful if driver education and licensing requirements were far more stringent than they currently are. However would you be accepting of serious driver training requirements, a graduated testing system and mandatory driver re-testing?

          • 0 avatar
            Jon

            @ Author

            “However would you be accepting of serious driver training requirements, a graduated testing system and mandatory driver re-testing?”

            Yes if we had significantly better mass transit. Those who prefer not to drive (typically those less skilled) would likely use mass transit and there would be less traffic on the road. However, in my city (Phoenix), we do not have large scale mass transit and likely will never have it. Therefore I deal with the current situation. In my uninformed and humble opinion, the drivers licensing procedures here are logical and adequate. I prefer to allow drivers to make their own decisions about when to drive and how to drive. They can reap the benefits and consequences of their decisions.

            My point is that if someone wants driver assist features, then they can pay for it on their own vehicle. Passively forcing it on others through regulation is wrong.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          “As for the demeaning: “Get these awful poor people and their cheap/old cars off the roads and away from my precious children!!!” post. In Ontario we have strict regulations regarding vehicle safety inspections and police officers regularly pull unsafe vehicles off the road. And for a very good reason, if your vehicle is unsafe, it is putting everyone else on the road in danger. Much like driving impaired.”

          yeah, but what do you propose to do to those awful people who have perfectly functional older cars that don’t meet your nanny-mandate that is keeping your family from certain doom?

          You are on the same brainwave as the wealthy doctor who ran his toddler over with his SUV and then sued and petitioned for mandatory backup cameras for everyone.

          https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/over-in-an-instant/article/How-can-this-happen-4833168.php

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Gtem: Come on, you can do better than that. “Nanny State?”

            If a car is unsafe based on the criteria set, then it should not be on the road.

            If it does not pass them then it is not “perfectly functional”, it is by definition ‘unsafe’.

            Regardless of age, if it passes the safety certification requirements, then it is OK to be on the road.

            Driving is not an unrestricted ‘right’. That is why there are existing driver licensing, vehicle licensing and insurance requirements, as well as applicable laws regarding vehicle operation.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            nanny-mandate (my own cutesy term I just coined): you’d like to see a bunch of these “nanny” safety systems mandated by the government or other regulatory agency for all cars on the roads.

            So you think it’s A-okay or moral to force a bunch of people’s paid-for older but functioning cars off the road and put them into debt because the only way you will feel that your family is adequately safe on the road is if everyone is driving cars with blind spot monitoring and whatever else? Get a grip man. The narcissism knows no bounds!

        • 0 avatar
          arach

          Not necessarily statistical nonsense…

          I would argue there is likely a causal correlation between an interest in a car blog and and interest and understanding of driving.

          Therefore I do not think it wrong to anticipate that most poster on here is an above average driver.

          In addition, most people are actually above average drivers…

          Statistics say that a typical driver will crash every 17.9 years, and every 3-4 years. Some people have 10 crashes, and are essentially outliers that skew the averages much more than the person who has 0 accidents. Therefore the median appears to be significantly less than the average.

        • 0 avatar
          Felix Hoenikker

          The Lake Wobegon effect of driving. Ha Ha

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Felix. Thanks.

            In all seriousness if you want to decrease the cost of autos, why not market an updated Studebaker Scotsman? Put in the least expensive 100 hp engine, zero sound deadening, zero carpeting, no headliner, manual door locks, manual windows, no power steering, no A/C, vinyl seating, no radio, no USB/electrical ports, rear drum brakes. That should make it far less expensive and according to the logic of at least a few of our posters ‘sell like hotcakes’.

            After all isn’t it better to scrimp on ‘luxury’ than on safety?

            Oh no you say, 100 hp is not safe! Isn’t that hypocritical?
            Just like I would bet that most who are against government mandated safety devices also drive a pick-up or an SUV or have one for their family or wish to buy one because they believe that they are ‘safer’. Also hypocritical. I might even say engaging in ‘class warfare’ against those who cannot afford such a vehicle, the fuel, or insurance or have parking for such a large vehicle. ;-)

            Here are some key facts:
            1) The major causes of vehicular collisions are: distracted driving, impaired driving, excess speed, disregarding road rules/signs/lights. All driver error. So therefore blameworthy and not an ‘accident’.
            2) Despite an increase in collisions, death rates have decreased. The reason being government mandated ‘passive’ safety devices such as crumple zones, 3 point seatbelts, etc. Proof that government mandating improves safety.
            3) It is accepted that the best way to survive a collision is to avoid it. And ‘active’ safety devices such as stability control have proven to reduce these collisions by allowing drivers to take more extreme action without rolling over. ABS has also proven effective by allowing less ‘practiced’ drivers to engage in emergency braking and still steer or stop faster than applying the ‘binders’. So again proven effective.
            4) So if all of the above government mandated safety initiatives have proven themselves statistically reduce accidents, and save lives, then why are you arguing against them??????????

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            ” I might even say engaging in ‘class warfare’ against those who cannot afford such a vehicle,”

            How can you even bring this up as a point and in the same breath say you’d prefer that all cars that aren’t up to a future Arthur-Dailey-safety-nanny specification be banned from the roads for the sake of your own brood? Holy hell man, look in the mirror.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Gtem: Please go back and re-read this discussion, relax, and then you will realize that you have misrepresented things.

            1) If a car fails its safety inspection, it does not belong on the road. Do you disagree with this?
            2) Current passive safety devices have improved collision survival. You have a problem with that? You want to remove them?
            3) Most collisions are the result of driver error. You don’t think that some active devices could help prevent collisions due to driver error? You also want to remove them?
            4) If consumers want a less expensive vehicle wouldn’t it make sense to dispense with ‘luxury’ items like power equipment, carpeting, etc rather than ‘safety’ items? Or do you think that A/C and power windows and a sunroof are more important than ABS, active head restraints, etc.?
            5) Would you let your infant children ride without being mounted in approved child seats? IF not why? Or is it because they represent improved safety for your upcoming ‘brood’.
            6) Do you have an SUV or truck like vehicle for your wife to commute in? Is it for its perceived safety? Then aren’t you being hypocritical in decrying safety for the masses?
            7) Do you believe that only those in pick-ups or SUV’s deserve to be ‘safe’, or do you agree that those who can only afford compact cars should also have built in safety features?
            8) Although I kept mentioning facts, you have relied solely on your emotional responses. And then tried to ‘put words in my mouth’. I get it, your family originally had to rely on old, small cars. Well so did mine, when I was young. But I learned from that and moved on. Police officers use the term ‘deathtraps’ for a reason. It is not based on the vehicles age, but its condition.

            Take a deep breath, sleep on it and you will realize that what I posted previously is based on fact and is quite reasonable.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Okay, a few thoughts:

            Sounds like there might be some confusion over what I’m taking contention with:

            If an older vehicle is safely operational (brakes, tires, suspension, lights, etc) but doesn’t have any of the new active systems, or say even stability or traction control, would it past muster to drive alongside your children on the road? I live in Indiana (no inspections of any kind) and see some really scary stuff as far as tires down down to cords, detached leaf springs on the highway, etc. I’m no more a fan of THAT kind of unsafe car than you are. Would I force a low income person driving an older car with a Check engine light off the road? No. Would I force operationally safe older cars that lack these active safety systems off the road? Absolutely not.

            My wife drives a sedan, I own or have owned several SUVs and trucks, 1990s vintage ones, some of which didn’t even have airbags. I obviously am not prioritizing the safety aspect in my own vehicle buying decisions, I like BOF trucks and SUVs for other reasons.

            I would be happy to see deregulating of the automotive safety space: if you want to commute in a Mahindra Roxor to work, more power to you. If you think that’s crazy and insist on buying a car with 10 airbags, hey that’s your choice as well, the market provides that. My guess is that most people car shopping would favor cars with at least a reasonable level of safety, but if someone came on the market with a $6000 reincarnation of the Nissan Tsuru (’91-’94 Sentra), maybe they would sell a few to cheapskates like me. I’m comfortable with that.

            Child safety: Up until they’re 5-6 years old sure, mandatory safety seats strike me as a good idea. Keeping your kid until they’re 12 or more in a seat? I dunno, the statistics might back that up but it just looks preposterous at some point, but again some stats might change my mind.

            My initial bone to pick was over your entirely emotional appeal “my children are on these roads mister!” And that is just asinine. Sorry to say, but I don’t care any more about your family than I do any other strangers.’

            Furthermore, having personally sampled some of the current implementations of active safety systems, I find them to be incredibly poorly implemented and are a distraction themselves. That you would like to foist this distraction AND make ME pay for it for the sake of your family’s perceived increase in safety is what set me off.

            You generally seem inclined towards a utopic “dogooder” mentality like in the past taking issue with people in the US being able to use the services of unlicensed mobile mechanics for affordable car repair, you’d rather see everyone in debt making payments, you know what’s good for them you claim. And again here you’re advocating for higher expenses forced upon others, but instead of the usual justification of “it’s for their own good,” you let the mask slip a bit and are saying it’s for your personal benefit of keeping your own kin safe. It’s kind of disturbing, and I’m frankly rather glad that we live in different countries.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Actually my concerns are manifold and you somehow misconstrued one of my points.

            1) Regarding my family, my issue is putting them in a safe vehicle. So the laws of efficiency/mass production mean that the more vehicles are manufactured with useful safety features, the more chances that I will be able to purchase/afford one for them. Coincidentally, if more are available for me, then that means that they will also be available for others. That is direct Millsian Utilitarianism.

            2) The availability of safe basic transportation is also a societal good. When people are severely injured in a vehicle collision, they often become for lack of a better term ‘burdens on the state’. Medical care, housing, personal care, rehab/physio, and perhaps even the care of their children/families. Reducing the number of people on LTD/etc reduced societal costs. So actually the opposite of what you claim, regarding cost. And an economic/utilitarian refutation of your Mahindra statement.

            3) Most of the ‘state imposed’ safety requirements have proven to be effective. Crumple zones, 3 point safety belts, head restraints, ABS and stability control have all either served to reduce collisions or traffic fatalities. Thus again reducing societal costs. And history has proven that left on their own, that many (if not most) auto manufacturers would not have made these features standard equipment. Not to mention the ‘cheating’ that some manufacturers have been found to engage in regarding ‘crash tests’. So ending government safety mandates is not a long term cost savings. Again requiring these features is a utilitarian necessity/benefit.

            4) In Ontario about a decade ago, we had a rash of traffic deaths and collisions caused by tires coming loose from commercial trucks. This caused the government to change the rules regarding circle checks, etc. Since the rules have been changed ‘flying tires’ have become largely a non-issue. Again demonstrating the efficacy of government regulation. And helping to keep ‘good’ drivers and our families safe on the highways.

            5) Finally I understand and sympathize with your dearly held belief that the availability of ‘cheap’ vehicles is a necessity for the working poor, etc. And agree to a degree. However removing all controls is akin to agreeing to the landlords/slumlords who opposed Building Code, Fire Code, etc controls over their boarding houses, flop houses etc. These landlords claimed that these ‘people’ needed a place to live/sleep and that imposing standards would increase the costs. However, is it better to allow the landlords to profit, while people lived in dangerous conditions? Isn’t a societal change and government initiatives such as co-op housing, government backed mortgages, etc a better solution? The post WWII suburban building ‘boom’ in the USA and Canada was largely the result of government action such as the G.I Bill and government backed mortgages. My family and nearly every family in our new subdivision had a 25 year mortgage at a fixed rate of just over 2%, backed by our government. In Canada the vast majority of immigrants dwell in the major urban centres. Each of these centres have relatively safe public transit systems. They also have car sharing organizations, Uber and licensed taxis. Using these in many cases is much less expensive than purchasing, maintaining, insuring, fueling and paying for the parking of a vehicle. I have the figures as that is what my eldest child has done since moving ‘into the city’ despite my offer to transfer to her for ‘free’ one of our vehicles. So the provision of and public funding of a safe, efficient and reliable public transit system in many (if not most) cases replaces the ‘need’ to own a vehicle. And large SUV’s and pick-ups are generally too expensive, too large and totally impractical for these urban dwellers and their families. Therefore when they own/buy they are generally relegated to ‘small/compact’ cars,Corollas, Civic, Elantras, Accents, and Versas being extremely popular. To paraphrase an old car commercial “should safe cars only be available to the rich?”. I believe that all passenger vehicles should be manufactured to relevant safety standards and thankfully to a large degree this is true. None of the vehicles mentioned if maintained would be considered a ‘deathtrap’.

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    I don’t think anyone hates ABS or traction control, stability control or whatever. As others have mentioned, even good and attentive drivers make errors in judgement and its nice to have the system in the background. Just give me the ability to turn off (or turn down) the system. Except ABS. As anyone who’s dealt with FWD and traction control in the snow, sometimes the system is a hindrance.

    But, I hate the lane departure warning, forward collision warning and the like because bad drivers rely on them rather than actively driving the car. Good drivers will ignore the false alerts until one day its for real and they still ignore it. Normalization of deviance its called in some circles.

    The other problem is that these systems age and/or the tech improves (as well as repair costs). Our ’14 Odyssey’s forward collision warning falsed a lot towards the end of our time with it on lease. Yet, I never turned it off, because I figured one day it might save my butt or my wifes. But lane departure and assist gets turned off day one.

    But really, the problem is that few normal motorists (read: not enthusiasts) can put down their mobile device and drive anymore. You really notice how bad it is when you ride mass transit and actually can look into other vehicles. Everyone has their device in their lap, no one is paying attention.

    For the enthusiasts, the drive is part of the fun of the journey. For the average person not into cars (75%?), the drive is the drudgery of the journey. Might as well check the interwebs, the car will beep if something is wrong.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      ABS can turn into a liability as well in super low traction situations, although when you reach that point, I’d more so question whether the tires were right for the situation, or whether it’s even safe at all to be driving on the road in the first place (ice storm or the like).

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        Yeah, if traction for stopping is bad enough that your concerned (or suddenly find yourself concerned) with ABS being a liability, there’s little you can do but stomp the pedal and hope for the best.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          Our family’s old MPV Allsport used to chatter it’s way down hill in a most disconcerting fashion before we put snow tires on it. That was a case where having ABS disabled may in fact have helped snow accumulate in front of the skidding tire and slow the car eventually. But the correct lesson to take away was that a heavy 4WD vehicle needed snow tires to stop effectively in addition to being able to start and go.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            My Highlander has a “descent control” feature to allow the ABS to hold a vehicle on a slippery slope but it can only be activated under 20 mph. I have used it in winter conditions and it works well on (as an example) the county road that my school is located on that slopes down and empties out onto a state highway.

            My 2004 F150 had discs on all four corners along with ABS. You couldn’t stop on a slippery slope for love or money. The ABS would just slip-grip-slip-grip-slip-grip along.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      A nice and cogent post.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        With my MT sedan, and ‘good’ winter tires, I actually disengage the Traction Control system at some intersections/starts.

        Regarding safety devices there are many that I believe should be (and in some cases are mandatory): ABS, stability control/traction control, seatbelts, air bags, active head restraints, emergency braking, blind spot warning, Bluetooth. Some that I am not sure of such as lane departure. And some that I believe are largely unnecessary such as back up cameras. Yet there seem to be more defenders of back-up cameras than of the other more significant devices?

        Before denouncing these devices, check with traffic officers (police), paramedics, fire fighters, emergency room physicians, who actually are routinely involved with major traffic collisions and ask them what they (or their associations) think about adding safety devices to vehicles.

        • 0 avatar

          I like the back up camera in my new GTI, and I have long been a fan of ABS, DSC, & seatbelts.
          Airbags are slightly net positive for women, slightly net negative for men, and only add about 5% survivability over using good belts. If they were available & legal on new cars, I would choose manually adjusted (non-inertial reel) four point belts instead of airbags. It is what I used in SCCA Pro Rally competition in the 60s and 70s and found them to be superior in every way to other restraint systems.

          • 0 avatar
            gearhead77

            jcw, I find the drivers aids in my ’17 Golf to be the least intrusive of any modern vehicle I’ve driven. And the backup cam is among the best I’ve experienced.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          A backup camera is essential for any vehicle that has poor visibility of the area 4′-8′ behind the vehicle. In essence, that covers every vehicle made today, what with their high belt lines and high tailgates. In trying to block the headlamp beams of following cars, nearly all visibility of anything shorter than about 4′ is essentially invisible. Worse, it is harder than ever to know exactly WHERE your ‘bumper’ is as you are backing, meaning you will stop ridiculously short of an obstacle (ever watch some people backing out of parking spaces?) or end up crashing into one because they were driving by ‘feel’. I’ve been driving my own new pickup truck for two months so far and still can’t estimate exactly where my front and rear corners are, relative to nearby obstacles. The rear-view camera ensures I don’t back into anything while I have a tendency to stop a full 2 feet short of where I THINK the front-end is. I’m still working on getting the overall ‘feel’ of this truck.

          As such, I do agree with most of these safety items, though I’m not pleased with the increased price of vehicles as a result.

        • 0 avatar
          gearhead77

          It’s not that I don’t feel these systems like FCW, LDW, etc. aren’t needed. I just feel they
          probably make bad drivers worse and can make good drivers ignorant.

          Most cars have Bluetooth, yet how many people do you see still holding their phone like a pizza, yakking into it like a Muppet as they drive? I won’t disagree about anything passive, seatbelts are passive at this point and if you don’t wear one for whatever reason, that’s on you.
          I won’t disagree about blind spot monitoring, but how can you have that and not rear view cameras or the associated cross-path detection that many have with the system?

          The rear design and corresponding rear view in our truck/crossover/high-beltline sedan world is appalling. My ’17 Golf has excellent rearward visibility for a modern car, but it sure as hell isn’t my 88 Acura Legend. I still swivel my head and check, but it’s hard to see out the back of most vehicles anymore.

          Especially in a tight parking lot, surrounded by tall crossovers and trucks. My VW actually has a wide enough rear camera angle that I can creep back and see if anything is coming with the camera, before I commit to fully backing out ( and I still look). But our 17 Sienna with cross-path detection mostly shows the license plate.

          The point is that all of these are drivers aids, not doing the driving. Yet some people let them do the driving. And in the case of Tesla, they think autopilot is autodrive. I have plenty of experience with autopilots and they will screw up, you are to be the one to step in and fix the problem.

          Education on these systems is key, but that’s easier said than done.

  • avatar
    forward_look

    In the last year, Darwin has claimed several non-seat belt wearers in our county, two of them cops. People have no working knowledge of physics.

    But yes, we should have an option where people could buy the “Death Trap Special” version of a car, and let the insurance companies deal with them. Counter the cost of fixing complicated car and people bodies vs. the cost of totaling each.

    I hate getting in a rental car and having to read 500 pages to figure what a funny light means.

  • avatar
    MoparRocker74

    I would rather have ‘some’ tech than ‘none’. One problem as someone said before is that this crap is rolled out half baked, and we get to find the flaws. The first ABS equipped Grand Cherokees come to mind. I remember how on a steep descent the ABS wouldn’t allow the rig to come to a complete stop. That’s straight up dangerous.

    I can see a certain level of some of these driver aids but it’s jumped the shark. Inattentive idiots are using this stuff as an excuse to be even bigger morons. That’s a net loss.

    The other problem, and it’s not just with safety equipment is that while some of this equipment may be justifiable in a mind numbing kid hauler minivan or crossover, there is absolutely no reason to have the same safety and emissions equipment tacked onto something like a muscle car, Wrangler, sports car or pickup. Those vehicles are supposed to be more focused towards performance, work or off-road travel. They aren’t likely to see much duty as moms taxi. Those should be treated as specialty vehicles with severely relaxed regulations surrounding them, much like motorcycles already have.

  • avatar

    I like the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) on my ’18 Sportwagen. Makes long interstate drives a bit more mellow, I speed far less.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I can’t wait to have a backup camera. My 2010 Highlander didn’t have one in the trim package that I have and the vehicle is far to elephantine for its own good. At least with a pickup I could see over the bed better than through the every shrinking windows on a CUV.

    • 0 avatar
      Felix Hoenikker

      Dan,
      I obtained a back up camera on my last car. All I can say is that having it is like dating the somewhat homely, but biologically supercharged young lady that nobody had time for in high school. You just wondered how you lived without it for so long.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Yeah and I thought about obtaining an aftermarket one, however I’m not keeping it long enough to justify the cost/trouble of installing one. My wife has her first vehicle with a backup camera (purchased Dec 2016) and now hates driving any vehicle without one.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    In terms of lane departure, that is a feature for drivers who are low on the spectrum of driving ability and attention. People who are watching their phones more than the road.

    Not the enthusiast. I don’t need my car beeping and screaming and jerking the wheel out of my hand if I decide to switch lanes without a signal on an empty stretch of highway. I resent the idea of a nanny computer that thinks it knows better than I do where I want to point the car.

    Oh, and the backup camera in my Mustang already needs replaced after 2 and a half years. Luckily the car is still under warranty, but I don’t want to image what all these systems would cost to repair out of warranty.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    I have a basic pass/fail test for safety systems. If they enable me to do what I want better than I can do it myself, they pass. If they insist on doing something I don’t want to do, they fail. ABS passes because it enables me to brake at the limit of adhesion. ESC passes because it will save my ass if I overcook a corner. I paid $2,000 for the navigation system on my 2008 Infiniti because it included a backup camera with the projected path superimposed on the screen. I have yet to experience blind spot warning but would expect it not to alert unless there was a vehicle truly in the blind spot rather than in the second lane over or a car length behind me. (I’d prefer cameras with graphics to show me exactly where the other vehicle is. Then, I could make an informed decision.)

    One of the Infintis I test drove in 2007 had adaptive cruise control. It freaked me out that, all of a sudden, the car slowed down. (I can’t remember if it ignored my foot on the accelerator.) My instant thought was, “What if it does this while I’m changing lanes to pass the vehicle for which it wants to slow down?” The minimum distance setting on the cruise control was generous and the maximum ludicrous.

    I suppose I could tolerate automatic lane keeping as long as the warnings weren’t obnoxious and any tug on the steering wheel was brief and barely detectable. I don’t want to have to fight the wheel.

    Automatic emergency braking worries me even if it doesn’t activate for no good reason. Suppose I’m driving in the outer lane with another vehicle in the next lane at least half a car length behind me. Another vehicle pulls out of a side road or parking place close enough to require action. Knowing that my blind spot is clear, I would abruptly change lanes to steer around it. (A good autonomous control system would make the same decision.) If my vehicle decides to activate emergency braking, I will have precipitated a rear end collision by the vehicle I just cut off. Depending on how hard my vehicle resists the lane change and how poorly its stability system maintains control, I may still run into the obstacle. What should have been an easy avoidance turns into a two or three vehicle wreck. This ain’t good.

    When it comes to autonomous vehicles, the minimum performance standard should be that they do at least as well as competent, conscientious human drivers who make occasional mistakes. What I fear we will get is flawed systems that make it safer for drunks to text.

  • avatar

    ABS is great. I liked how BMW had Stability control in the past…no sliding, and some allowed. You could select sport and get just enough slide from the back or spin to make it fun, but it still kicked in if things went too far.

    You can’t even turn off the Stability control in my base Jetta. That oversight is a bit much…it snows.

    I’ve had the various safety systems in Cadillac MB and BMW. I’m not impressed, my butt vibrating isn’t needed to know I’ve changed, or fudged, lanes.

  • avatar
    Jagboi

    I have a real life example where technology was very unsafe. I was driving my friends 2018 Jeep Grad Cherokee SRT. We’re in the mountains in winter, and he has snow tires on. It’s a winding 2 lane road, with a small shoulder. I tend to hug the outer edge of the lane because there is a pile of snow on the center line where it gets pushed up by traffic. If you catch that snowpile it can pull the vehicle unpredictably, and I always like to leave more space between oncoming traffic in the winter.

    The road is mostly snow covered, but there is some black ice under the snow. The car is driving fine until there is a gap in the trees and the sun has melted the snow back to pavement for a few feet.

    The lane departure than grabs the wheel out of my hands and yanks the car over because it can now see the center and edge lines and things I am out of the center of my lane. Only problem is it’s fairly violent and moves the car so quickly that the car is unbalanced as it does this maneuver the car is back onto the ice covered road and we are going down the road sideways.

    I’m very luck I was able to get control back by throwing it into neutral and gentle steering, but I was very lucky to not end up in a ditch or hitting someone as I was well over into the opposing lane.

    Without the “safety features” I would have carried across the sunny patch with no problems, instead I completely lost control of the vehicle and only avoided a crash because the road was empty. Needless to say, all the “safety” BS got turned off right away.

    • 0 avatar
      jatz

      So glad you came through that unscathed!

      Nothing should EVER take steering control away from the driver. Absolute criminal arrogance from idiot-savants.

      Fortunately for me I’ll only buy one more new car in my driving time and I should be able to insist on no “safety” overrides like lane control that aren’t defeatable.

      But if I were 10 years younger I’d worry.

    • 0 avatar
      Jagboi

      Gaaa! Typos galore! (hangs head in shame)

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Right on jagboi. In my case it was nothing as severe, but even a gentle nudge or resistance on the wheel can be incredibly unnerving when you’re on the highway in the rain and use the steering to feel for what the traction conditions are like and are holding a line around a curve on the highway. In my case passing a semi and holding myself towards the left edge of the outer lane.

      I really do wonder if some of the people calling us skeptics “Luddites” in a knee jerk fashion have much experience with these systems they’re advocating for. If I try one of these systems that works great, I’ll say so and maybe I’ll change my mind. Currently however, it feels like we’re in the equivalent of motorized seat belts when it comes to these systems. Good intentions, but they are intrusive (downright dangerous in some cases).

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Not trying to refute anything said here, after all, I’ve had my own bad experience with ABS on glare ice (which is really harder to see than ‘black ice.’) I do know that in the case of systems like Electronic Stability Control (or whatever a given brand calls it), you do have the ability to turn it off under certain conditions… usually at speeds below 35mph, though. As such, is there anything in your owners’ manual that suggests the system can be turned off temporarily?

        By the description in the first story, I do agree that the way the lane-keeping system reacted was guaranteed to destabilize the car–the LAST thing you want in such conditions is a sudden maneuver! I’m surprised at the power you claim of the system and strongly recommend a complaint be posted to NHTSA in particular, as well as with the vehicle manufacturer. Computer programs don’t know how to drive on ice yet and there NEEDS to be some way to turn it off under certain temperature/traction conditions at a reasonable speed.

        So far, none of my vehicles has had this technology, though I expected my new truck to carry it since it is an option for the trim package I have. I think the only reason I dodged it is that I chose to not take the NAV option as the Apple Car Play/Android Auto means you can use the GPS in your phone just as easily (and far more frequently updated.)

  • avatar

    AAA is less than enthused.

    https://www.autoblog.com/2018/11/15/aaa-driver-assist-technology/

    • 0 avatar
      oleladycarnut

      AAA’s thesis is: “These systems are made as an aid to driving, they are not autonomous, despite all of the hype around vehicle autonomy,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of automotive engineering. “Clearly having ‘pilot’ in the name may imply a level of unaided driving, which is not correct for the current state of the development of these systems.” The entire article focused on drivers who believed having driver assist systems seemed to make some drivers think the cars will drive themselves.

      My takeaway isn’t AAA isn’t enthused about driver assist systems. In fact, in the conclusion of the article Brannon was quoted again: Brannon said that despite their shortcomings, the systems have great potential to save lives and stop crashes from happening.

      • 0 avatar

        The problem that makes AAA hesitant is what should make everyone hesitant. The systems work pretty well MOST of the time, which tends to make people rely too much on them. Then when the aid systems have a glitch, the driver is distracted from paying full attention to the driving environment. By the time they try to retake control to fix the problem the aid system missed or did badly – it may be too late to fix it.

        Until fully reliable Level 5 Autonomous controls are in the marketplace (a LONG way off in my opinion), there is no substitute for full attention by the driver to the environment and all its complex possibilities.

  • avatar
    427Cobra

    I was rather happy to find my ’17 Focus ST rather devoid of the usual “safety suite”… I previously had a ’13 Ford Edge Limited equipped with every bell & whistle. I found them more of a distraction than an assistance. The adaptive cruise would pick up vehicles in the adjacent lanes while going around a curve & slam on the brakes. The BLIS indicators become obscured in heavy traffic at night… yada yada yada. It used to drive me nuts when alarms would start going off while driving, & you have to figure out which one it is. I’d rather focus on my surroundings than try to interpret all of the warning bells/chimes.

  • avatar
    volvo

    This was my question originally submitted to Sajeev and I have learned a lot from the mostly thoughtful comments.

    OMO mandating these drivers assist devices would lower their price by economies of scale. I have not problem with allowing them to be switched off.

    I will say that while driving a winding 2 lane road on a wet rainy night I would hope that even Ayrton Senna would not pass another vehicle that was doing the speed limit and would follow speed limit and advisory speed signs. That is because I or another driver might be coming the other way and even a near miss would spoil both our days.

    Also that nice dark winding road usually had trees along the sides and it is amazing how strong a 6 inch tree trunk is.

    There are actual tracks that have a wet skid apron available to practice the fun stuff. I know because I have done it.

    Stay safe out there for everyone’s sake.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      “I will say that while driving a winding 2 lane road on a wet rainy night I would hope that even Ayrton Senna would not pass another vehicle that was doing the speed limit and would follow speed limit and advisory speed signs. That is because I or another driver might be coming the other way and even a near miss would spoil both our days.

      Also that nice dark winding road usually had trees along the sides and it is amazing how strong a 6 inch tree trunk is.”

      I believe this is in reference to my descriptions.

      A) I was not passing anyone on a twisty two lane road. In the CX5 I was on I80 leaving NYC, on a 3-wide section, in the left lane passing a truck that was in the center lane, while we were in a bend in the road. I placed my car towards the outer part of my lane (towards the median, at worst clipping the outer edge marker) to give more space to the big rig to be more safe.

      B) On the twisty 2 lane by my brother’s house, I was not going much more than the speed limit, maybe 45 in a 35 in an absolutely minimally populated and minimally driven (at almots midnight) back road. I’d have seen any oncoming cars by their headlights, and I was never entering the oncoming lane, just putting a tire on either the center divider or the edge line to carve a cleaner corner. The system absolutely freaked out about this.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    I want a mandatory safety system, integrated with the regular headlights-vs-DRL switch, the hazard light switch, rain sensor, sunlight sensor (the thing that normally biases the air conditioning/automatic climate control on sunny days), vehicle speed sensor, forward and aft looking radar, and a new left lane sensor. This device will either blast the driver with an annoying, deafeningly loud screech or better yet provide real time electro shock therapy to the driver’s seat any time the person:

    – is using their hazard lights in the rain and moving more than 5-10 mph
    – is holding up the left lane in general
    – is using their DRLs at night
    – probably a few other things, including truck drivers who go slower than 2mph under the speed limit in the left lane up a long grade (speaking of trucks, an extra long, punitive shock any time they have a tire blowout)

    I propose a second generation of this system, one that uses cellular data networks and all car owners’ bank accounts. Now hear me out! In addition to the negative reinforcement provided directly at the offending driver, my device would also automatically fine the offender. Wait, I’m not finished. Those funds would be distributed to neighboring motorists’ bank accounts. Folks, restitution is a concept as old as human civilization. I believe my safety device, if installed in >90% of all vehicles on the road, could very well relegate road rage to the dustbin of history, make it a distant memory of the early 21st century.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    Honestly I think MORE intrusive is probably better for most drivers. A very talkative friend of mine bought a new Subaru Forester with all the safety nannies. We took a road trip and she was constantly talking with her hands, looking over at her audience for validation, etc. The nannies were beeping at her every few seconds to stay in her goddamned lane and she seemed utterly oblivious to them. Don’t beep, car, just keep the damn vehicle between the lines.

    Us Lake Wobegone types, on the other hand — every one of us an above-average driver — can just turn ’em off. :-)


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