There is one button every new car ought to have – to turn off every saaaaaaaaaaaaaafety “technology” in the car, all at once.
No more having to find a button – for each of these various “technologies,” whether it’s Lane Keep Assist, Brake Assist, Back-up Assist or (the very latest) Speed Limit Assist.
And on account of all this “assistance,” spend far too much time and effort dealing with these “technologies” you probably didn’t want added to the car in the first place, but which car-makers are obliged to install in the cars they build because the government has “mandated” them and because of the virtue-signaling pressure to tout them and include them as standard equipment.
You will probably have seen the ads – irrespective of make – that spend most of the ad describing how “safe” the car is on account of the roster of “technology” it has. The estrogenated car press is even worse because more unctuous. It will chide any car-maker that does not equip a given vehicle with all of the very latest, most “advanced” of these “assistance technologies.”
Which aim to “assist” the driver into passengerhood, ultimately – an obviously implicit inevitability of all this “technology.”
The return of the manual transmission. In a car that didn’t offer one last year – or any of the years it has been on the market. But which is now available with one – plus the one button that turns everything you may not want on off.
That car is the 2023 Toyota Supra.
Just behind the shifter – as distinct from the gear selector – you will find that just one button that turns it all off. Hold it down for three seconds and – voila! – you are now free to drive the car.
No flashing lights or herky-jerky pulls.
Or sudden, unwanted, brakes.
Every car ought to have such a button. In the interests of . . . saaaaaaaaaaaafety. In those that don’t – which is all of them, excepting this happy car – the driver must sort through an array of buttons and sometimes menus in order to first find whatever the one that controls this “technology” – and then another for the next – and so on, down the line. It is a process that takes both time and attention – off of one’s driving. It is also exasperating, which is fatiguing.
But it’s preferable to the alternative, which is to just give up and leave all of the “technologies” on.
Forget what you may have read in the estrogenated press about the saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety of these “technologies.” About how “advanced” they are – and that you are a “Pro” if you increasingly leave the driving up to the “technology.”
Here is the reality:
One, they don’t work particularly well – or reliably. What is styled “advanced” Brake Assist “technology, as a for-instance, brakes prematurely and peremptorily. It sometimes brakes for berms in the road, which its camera systems confuse with an object in the road. When it snows – when such “advanced” saaaaaaaaaafety “technology” is most “needed” (well, according to the logic of the saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety-touters) – the cameras often go blind, because of snow/ice on their lenses. Then the “technology” doesn’t work at all – and if a driver has become dependent upon it to drive the car for him… .
Lane Keep Assistance “technology” is bound to cause accidents, by “assisting” a driver trying to change lanes into the ditch. Or into another car. The system steers counter to the direction you’re trying to steer, forcing a countersteer, to correct the car’s course. This alone could unsettle the car, resulting in loss of control. It is also unsettling, as such – especially if you have never felt it before. The wheel pulls left – or right – while you’re trying to steer left – or right. An older person or a person with a light/weak grip and not a lot of arm strength could find that even more unsettling, as well as dangerous.
Having to fight the car – or being serially aggravated by the car – isn’t “safe.” Neither, arguably, is encouraging drivers to rely on “technology” to keep them “safe” rather than being competent drivers, who don’t need such “technology.”
Paying attention works wonders.
Well – at last – at least one car company is addressing this issue, by enabling the driver to turn it all off – and just like that. There’s that one button on the center console. Easy to see, easy to find and even easier to use. Hold it down for three seconds and from that moment onward, the car does what your inputs tell it to do and that’s entirely up to you.
More’s the better – of this kind of technology.
And also that third pedal, which addresses another deficit that afflicts all too many new cars.
Just not this one!
. . .
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