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High-tech Cars Replacing Driver Skill?

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by undii, Jan 13, 2006.

  1. Didn't see anyone mention this slashdot article. Applies to us :)

    basically it states:

    What happens when you take a bunch of average drivers, put them in a car with no high-tech systems like anti-lock brakes and traction control, and ask them to drive on a safety test track? 360-degree spins, of course. And not only do today's drivers need ABS and traction control to keep their cars under control, it also turns out most drivers can't even name the high tech safety systems that are continually saving their butts. And to make matters worse, carmakers plan to install automatic radar-based blind-spot checkers so motorists can avoid looking over their shoulders while changing lanes. Even geeks find some of these technologies scary, including Wired's Bruce Gain, who drove Mercedes' S-Class with automatic braking."

    Links are:




    Original slashdot article at http://slashdot.org/articles/06/01/12/0445217.shtml
  2. This one surprises me. It shouldn't but it does. I guess it's only because I grew up fanging a '75 corolla around the place and I've never had a car that featured technology as modern as the electric window or air conditioner, let alone driving aids.

    It puts forward a good argument for giving your kids a clapped-out old banger to learn on, doesn't it?
  3. I can believe it, I remember reading a letter into a carmag by someone asking why everytime they used the brakes in their Landcruiser the pedal pulsated :roll: - the mag politely suggested they serously alter their driving habits. Personally I'd never buy a car with stability control, for that matter I'm not really a big fan of ABS or power steering either (although on some cars p/s is necessary).
    Edit: The other thing that concerns me particularly with stability control is that no system is ever going to be completely infallible and if it ever does let go then you're going to lose control of the car at a much higher speed than with the system switched off/not fitted, possibly with little to no warning.
  4. Given the level of driving skill displayed by so many motorists, giving them as much high-tech help as possible seems a pretty good idea to me.

    Bring on the stability controls and blind-spot warning systems (if drivers aren't going to do head-checks, let the technology tell them there's a rider in the blind-spot). It's got to be safer for riders.
  5. i don't think it does put up a brilliant argument for people to learn in old bangers.

    Once the technology is perfected, i'd much much much much much much prefer to have those around me be driving vehicles that wouldn't let them crash into me because they forgot to brake, change lanes into be because they don't look, leave me the feck alone even when they're too busy on the phone to work out that unless you slow down for that roundabout in the rain, you will spin and slide into the vehicle beside you, run red lights....

    Joe average isn't going to get any better as a driver in this country because there is no driving education other than how to pass a parking test for your license. The only way it will get better then is to have some(thing) else do the job for them. Keep in mind that the only reason (in my mind) why people are so crap as drivers is that all they want is to be able to get from A to B without having to catch public transport. The car allows them to do what they want, when they want, and if you can give them that and the ability to listen to loud music and talk on the phone while it's happening, then yay for me.

    It is only you and I and a select number of car drivers who actually WANT to pilot the vehicle...
  6. I'd rather err on the side of giving many of the dropkicks out there all the technology available to help them get around with out stacking. If they come to rely on this technology instead of using their extremely shit driving skills, thats a good thing.

    I envisage that one day if you wanted to drive a vehicle without these systems, you'd have to pass an advanced drivers licence, which may not be a bad thing.
  7. I guess it's not much different to the fact so many cars have switched to FWD - safer up to a point. Push a RWD car to fast the back will step out which should scare the average driver into submission. FWD (and in some cases AWD) however seems to result in drivers pushing their cars faster through corners - then wondering why it drifts over the centreline :shock:. Yes elctronic gadgets might help but there should be some sort of warning light/buzzer every time it kicks in to let the driver know they're actually doing something stupid and its only because of a computer that they're not spearing off the road or into oncoming traffic.
  8. As far as the radar blind-spot checkers go at least, I'd say: bring them on! In a way, I see it as a part of the same thing we were talking about in regards to road safety in general : drivers will always make mistakes, because it is not in human nature to remain 100% alert and focused all of the time. So rather than hoping for that against all evidence, we should be striving for a road environment that doesn't punish such mistakes by death...

    And while I understand the general unease about handing more and more responsibility to technology, look at it this way: modern planes could not fly without electronics, computers, fly-by-wire etc - yet we're not greatly worried about pilots losing their flying skills, are we?
  9. this seems to be related more to tyre development than whether or not the vehicle is driven by a particular set of wheels.

    As for the last bit, it was you who mentioned someone who took no notice of their cruiser brake pedal shuddering - why should a light on the dash that says ABS engaged make any difference? Why not merely let the computer do the task for them.

    As for your comment about stability control merely getting people into trouble at higher speeds is not true - you have to be doing that speed to start with. The electronics will only make a difference to which part of the bush you end up in - and it is likely to be a little bit further down the road than without the electronics. If you can reduce the problem of people leaving the road by use of electronics, then you also reduce the number of people who get swiped by said car as it does leave the road (or cross lanes or whatever)

    PS, the minor point about stability control is that it is always linked to ABS and traction control - it will not let you keep the boot in and therefore increase your speed on the way to the scene of the accident. It will only let you increase speed if there is sufficient traction available to be able to do it.
  10. How often are you worried about a plane running into you whilst you are riding?
  11. all the time. Why? what do you worry about?

    (do you generally have a problem with comparison of two similar things?)
  12. Well, I live pretty much under the flightpath to Sydney airport, so the thought does cross my mind now and then :)

    But you seem to be missing my point - it is precisely because I worry about cars running into me I would welcome a blind-spot warning for drivers.
  13. Two things

    a) Passenger to driver "what's that buzzing noise". Driver "That's my 'everything is okay alarm'".

    b) I know drivers that would make an effort to make the light / buzzer activate as often as possible, even making a game out of it - that's not a joke, I'm serious :(
  14. When driving is a challenge, it's quite a lot of fun! Modern cars bore the crap out of me when I drive them, but I'll admit I still miss my old Rolla, which was a real adventure to take around a corner quickly.

    Surely the more control you take away from people, the more bored, inattentive, sloppy and unskilled they'll become - it's just like that study they did on Japanese guys who get around all over the place with GPS navigation and are now so reliant on it that they have no idea how to get to work without it!

    Make mine a shitbox, sir.
  15. true enough - it would be a lot more effective to replace light/buzzer with an electric shock... who wants to start a petition?
  16. only to you. Joe average couldn't give a rats. They'll still fall asleep at the wheel, get angry etc - electronics that has active steering, throttle and brake control as is starting to appear will make a big difference here.
  17. Dunno mate, I reckon i AM Joe Average! Put me in an old car with no fancy gadgets and I feel engaged with the road. Put me in a big soft plush car that distances me from the driving process and I feel bored and inattentive and just as bad as the other cagers out there.

    All these gadgets gradually produce and exacerbate the problems they're trying to solve.
  18. *nod* I don't mind the blind spot but for drivers to totally not head check (who says they will bother to check mirrors 'properly? I.e to see riders. At least head check forces people to conciously see whats there hopefully) and losing (or not ever getting it) skill/reaction etc to me isn't a good thing. I guess time will tell on how this impacts motorists/riders overall
  19. The blind spot is something that is resolvable, why arent car makers forced to either have one mirror with 2 angles on it or 2 mirrors ?
  20. To be cynical. I guess because it hardly will cause deaths of motorists but seeing as it causes lots of accidents and the government gets tax/money from people repairing cars, they don't bother too much about it?