Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I think I'll keep my truck as long as possible

because it doesn't spy on me.  And snitch on me.
All new cars - by law - are being fitted with Event Data Recorders (EDRs) or “black boxes” that record this data – and many others things besides.

The ’15 Corvette will – reportedly – take video of your driving. And store it. See here.
Here is an interesting preview of what’s in store for the rest of us – not just Corvette drivers.

Can you smell it yet?

The ’14 Mazda3, like an ever-expanding roll call of new cars, also offers pre-emptive braking. Mazda calls it something else, of course (“Smart City Brake Support,” to be precise. Yack). But that’s what it does. Pre-emptively brakes. The car decides it’s time to slow – or even stop – and does so. You are second banana. This usurper technology is integral – essential – for the practical implementation of the driver-free (Google calls it driverless, but that’s a misnomer) car. The car has a driver.

It’s just not you.
I foresee a lot of quiet "Here's how you disconnect this crap" in the future.  At the least for the 'Tell Big Momma where you are and what you're doing' crap.


djmoore said...

I can't help but think of Daniel Keyes Moran's SF novel, The Long Run. In it, the world is run by the French via the UN. The trigger for the downfall of the US is a bunch of "speedfreaks" who insist on driving their cars themselves.

[Note: this is just backstory. The novel mostly takes place decades after the UN takeover.]

Phelps said...

I've got an Audi A4 with ESP. This one:


I remember distinctly the first time it did more than the normal ABS stuff. This time I was pissed off and going pretty fast through an S-turn to get past some idiots and at the apex of the second curve, I felt the car brake and do that ABS style shudder, and my little ESP light came on on the dash.

My first impulse was anger (how dare MY car tell ME how to drive) and then to turn the damned thing off (there's a button to turn it off with.) Then... I realized about 30 seconds later, I probably was going too fast for that corner, and in retrospect, there was a little understeer going on, and you know what, I'll leave the ESP on for now.

DJMoore said...

Phelps, I agree it's not universally a bad thing. My objection is not to the technology, but to mandated technology. I don't want the OFF switch to disappear, under penalty of law.

However, there is also the issue of what I've heard called "conservation of risk." When technological features reduce risk, people behave in riskier behavior to compensate. The level varies from person to person, but each individual has a level of risk we are most comfortable with, and it's substantial.

I've heard it said that the most effective car safety feature would be a six inch spike in the middle of the steering wheel.