It’s no secret that car manufacturers introduce all sorts of weird and wonderful technology into cars sold today. After all, one of the things that attracts buyers to new cars is the features and gadgetry that is contained within them.
The technologies that are included in today’s cars are typically ones designed to assist drivers in some way, and to generally make their lives on the road easier. But has technology gone too far? Are we as motorists becoming more and more dependent on technology and forgetting basic skills, such as how to actually drive our cars and maintain them?
As strange as it sounds, I think we are becoming too reliant on technology and, as a result, we are developing more bad habits on the road. In this blog post, I discuss some of the reasons why I think this is so.
An American invention, automatic transmissions have been around in cars since the middle of the 20th century. This makes sense, seeing as convenience is probably the most important factor that affects buying decisions in the United States. Most cars in the USA and places like Australia and New Zealand have automatic transmissions, and traditionally the reverse was true in Europe.
However, car manufacturers in Europe have been offering most of their models with some form of automatic transmission as standard for a few years now. Although automatic transmissions are certainly one of the best driver aids there is, it doesn’t teach people through practice how their car’s engines work, and the relationship between the engine and the gearbox.
This might be a boring subject for some people, but when you are driving on unfamiliar terrain or through hazardous driving conditions, drivers of manual cars will know how to better handle their vehicles.
A relatively new technology, there are a few self-parking cars that you can buy today. According to a friend of mine that works as a car salesman for www.gkgroup.co.uk, if you hate parallel parking you can simply press a button once you have aligned yourself next to the car that’s parked in front of the space you want to park in, and it will steer the car into the space for you!
You would have to control the accelerator and brake pedals (and the clutch pedal if you’ve got one of those “old fashioned” manual cars) and the car does the work for you. Does this mean people won’t be learning how to parallel park the old-school way in their driving lessons?
Some people are hailing self-driving car technology as the next-level of futuristic motoring, but the cynical among us believe that we should not entirely rely on what is basically a computer to drive our cars for us!
I happen to be one of those cynics, and here’s why I’m not exactly jumping up and down with joy at the thought of getting into a car that drives itself: computers are prone to crashing (partial pun intended) and developing errors.