Smart Cars: Taking Away Americans Right to Wreck? - BodyShop Business

Smart Cars: Taking Away Americans Right to Wreck?

Night vision cameras that project an image of the road ahead on a small area of the windshield? Cruise control that regulates the distance from other cars? A system that “sees” around corners?

New features that car companies are developing to help prevent accidents make me wonder: What are the OEMs trying to do? Put the collision repair industry out of business?
Not to mention, who the heck are they designing these cars for? The village idiot?

No, actually, they’re designing these cars for me.
I’m a terrible driver. I’ve been in three accidents, and in two of those accidents, the other parties were inanimate objects, most notably a house.

While I have no problem admitting that I’m a bad driver, I think these new gadgets are actually going to make my driving worse – and allow me to pawn off accountability on a system “glitch.”

And apparently I’m not alone. The carmakers are hesitant to release many of these new “smart car” advancements for fear of liability and lawsuits.

In the spirit of these impending trials, I present to you my objections to the new features.

Feature: Auto Cruise Control to reduce the car’s speed if it’s too close to another vehicle.

I object! Tailgating is the only way I get dates. My scheme is, I pull up behind some guy and if he looks cute in his rear-view mirror, I hit him. Next, we exchange numbers, for “insurance purposes,” and voila, I have a new boyfriend.

And removing the ability to tailgate won’t just hurt my social life. It will also negatively affect the flow of traffic. We all know that the only way to get slow drivers to speed up (or to move out of the fast lane) is to ride their rear bumper.

Feature: A night vision camera that projects an image of the road ahead on a small area above the windshield wipers.

I object! If this gadget someday becomes standard on all vehicles, the entertainment industry – particularly horror movies – will suffer a devastating blow.

Imagine you’re watching the latest sequel to “I Know What You Did Last Friday the 13th on Elm Street,” and the heroine is speeding away from her attacker. How scary will it be when she sees him with her night vision camera long before he jumps out in front of her?

Feature: An Electronic Stability Control System that uses sensors to measure wheel speed, steering angle and yaw to automatically intervene if the vehicle begins to skid.

I object! What if you want to skid? Everyone knows that fishtailing is a popular wintertime activity for teenagers. Depriving children of this fundamental right to get reckless is, well, just heartless. Not to mention, an advancement of this system decreases the chances of SUV rollovers. No rollovers? What’s next, no drunk driving?

Feature: Cameras allowing the driver to keep an eye on kids in the back seat, detect blind spots or “see” around corners when coming out of a driveway or going around a curve.

I object! All the sibling wrestling and poking that goes on when Mom isn’t looking is character building, take it from me. I’m a youngest child. And if I had to suffer my older brother’s wet willies, then why should anyone be immune?

Writer Liz Blickle is an intern for BodyShop Business. She drives a red Audi A4, just in case you’re trying to avoid her on the highway. There’s really nothing to be afraid of, though, as long as your car is moving … and you’re ugly.

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