Categorized | Auto News

Do Not Touch That Button

Do Not Touch That Button

How much do you want other people to make decisions for you in the interests of road safety? Do you regard yourself to be a good driver, capable of making up your own mind as circumstances dictate? At the start of our driving lives we are obliged to take a test of our competence which would appear to indicate that society thinks we are safe to be let out on our own in a motor.

Increasingly, it seems that our cars are going to make decisions for us. The latest wheeze is from Ford with their – and this isn’t made up – Driver Workload Estimator System. Car makers seem to be increasingly pre-occupied with finding ways to take our matters into their hands. Ford’s new technology will apparently monitor several factors, the purpose being to decide whether or not you should receive a phone call.

For example: if the accelerator is being pressed, the indicators are on or there is movement on the steering wheel, any incoming calls will be blocked. So even with Bluetooth or a hands-free kit, if you are thought to be effecting a manoeuvre, it will be assumed that you are too busy to press a button. If the car is travelling in a straight line at a constant speed then the system will put the call through. And you thought some secretaries were tough to get past.

There’s something perverse going on here. The Ford system is being tested in America where authorities have called for a ban on all in-car distractions. Presumably that must include music or radio. In the UK, although it’s illegal to use a hand-held mobile, there are no rules governing hands-free. Yet. Why bother going to the trouble of inventing stuff and putting it in our cars, if, further down the road, health and safety officials are going to ban it?

Road safety obviously must have its place and statistics show that accident figures have been going up after ten years of decline. Driving, if not done with absolute care is a potentially dangerous occupation. The thing is, we all know this. Even the legendary Damon Hill has spoken up for a blanket 55mph speed limit in the UK on the basis, he believes, that most drivers aren’t capable above that speed yet, not so many years ago, we were free to drive our cars – without many of the safety aids we take for granted today – without interference. It is clear that the days of driving for pleasure are long gone. A car is now just an adjunct of your social life and like other areas of your social life is set to be controlled by other people whether you like it or not.

This post was written by:

- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

Contact the author

Leave a Reply

All comment forms are spam protected.

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