There’s nothing wrong with a little assistance . . . if you need it. If you asked for it. Offering to help a little old lady cross the street, for instance. That’s sweet. Boy Scouts are taught this. Well, they were – before the Boy Scouts got kiboshed by being forced to admit girls.
Another rant, for another day.
It’s insulting – and tyrannical.
And it’s exactly that kind of “assistance” you’ll find in almost every new car. You can’t say no – without saying no to the car. And the car “assists” whether you asked it to or not – and whether you need it or not.
Control over our cars is being taken away from us under the ruse of assisting us. It’s a ruse precisely because it’s not “assistance.” It’s peremptory control, unasked for and largely unwanted. Note that “assistance” tech such as Lane Keep Assist, Steering Assist, Emergency Brake Assist and other such are not for the most part options that people can buy if they are interested but rather shoved down the buyer’s throat as part of the standard equipment package.
Very much the same as ASS – Automated Stop/Start “technology” (as it’s advertised) is fast becoming something you can avoid without avoiding a new car.
But this begs the question: If these “technologies” are so desirable then why aren’t they optional? Surely, if they were so very desirable, people would freely pay extra for them? Why not give them the opportunity to do so?
Some will say: But virtually all new cars now come standard with air conditioning and power windows; are you suggesting people are being forced to buy them, too?
You used to be able to buy a car without AC or power windows – which meant paying significantly less for the car. It’s one of the reasons why cars used to be financed over three or so years rather than six, as is typical today.
You also paid less for gas – since less mechanical energy is needed to run an engine that doesn’t have to run an AC compressor; the car also weighed less – typically by more than 100 pounds, which is no small reduction. This also helped the car use less fuel. And of course, there’s one less thing to service, which saved you money that way.
Of course, this doesn’t make money – for the car company and the dealership. In fact, it costs them money to make a given model of car with – and without – AC. One-size-fits-all is cheaper to make, but they can charge you more for it.
Which is why they stopped making cars with AC optional – that came standard with very effective under-dash vents (and wing-vent windows) which kept you almost as cool as AC – but for free.
Without those underdash vents and wing-vent windows, a car gets insufferably hot – if it hasn’t got AC. Therefore, all cars now come standard with it. You’re kept cool. But your wallet is lightened.
Some will say that almost no one would skip AC, even if they could. Well, it’d be interesting to see whether they would, if they had the option not to . . . without roasting to death being standard equipment.
Which explains why air bags were subsequently forced on them.There is little doubt many people would skip air bags, if they could – because they did. Especially now – because of general awareness of both the risks and the costs of air bags. One relatively minor, otherwise repairable accident and the car is totaled because of the disproportionate cost of replacing several air bags.
The same force-feeding is happening with “assistance” technology. Almost as soon as it was invented, it got foisted – probably because outside of a few neurotics morbidly fixated on your “safety” – what the youth refer to as “Karens” – not many normal people would freely pay to be controlled; to have their driving pre-empted and countermanded by software written by some geek unknown to them, who presumes them to be nearsighted, slow-witted morons unable to control a car competently themselves.
Why is anyone genuinely in need of “assistance” allowed anywhere near a car at all? In plain language, if you lack the competence or attention span or willingness to competently control a car yourself without “assistance” then you have no more business behind the wheel than a person unable to swim has in the deep end of a pool.
But competence – and sense – are becoming as rare in the Corona’d States of America as literacy and numeracy.
Which answers the questions begged.
. . .
Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!
If you like what you’ve found here please consider supporting EPautos.
PS: Get an EPautos magnet or sticker or coaster in return for a $20 or more one-time donation or a $10 or more monthly recurring donation. (Please be sure to tell us you want a magnet or sticker or coaster – and also, provide an address, so we know where to mail the thing!)
If you’d like an ear tag – custom made! – just ask and it will be delivered.