As cars become ever more technical with every new model, I got to thinking: Are all these cool new gadgets helping us be better drivers, or making us uber lazy behind the wheel?
I thought this as I popped my Lincoln MKT tester into Active Park Assist, took my hands off the wheel and let the car parallel park itself. I didn’t even have to find the spot, the car did that for me too. Cool: no doubt. Lazy: to the extreme.
But is it really lazy or is it safe? Sure, I can parallel park on my own (I passed my driving test after all), but I could never do it as well as the laser-guided computer that parks the Lincoln. I’d probably hit the curb, maybe even scrape a bumper, so why not let the machine handle the hard work?
And what about blind spot detectors and lane-departure warnings? Are these making us safer drivers by keeping us in line and warning us before we make a mistake? I don’t even have to turn my head to look out my rear windows with the blind-spot warnings, and the lane departure beeps are just aggravating; they don’t stop me drifting.
From front crash warning lights to laser-guided cruise control and and night vision, cars are getting so technologically advanced it seem that one day they’ll be able to not only park themselves in any spot but drive themselves too.
And I think that’s all a bit too much. There’s a reason we learn how to drive and take a test to prove we can drive: So that we can drive.
It’s time we went back to the good old days of starting your car with a key in the ignition and cranking down the windows with a lever. I know, barbaric. But I think it has to be done. We’re becoming too reliant on car gadgets these days and it can only end badly.
I mean, are we so inept that we can’t even pull into our own garages unassisted? It would seem so: