Just One Button!

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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.”

But one car-maker has bucked this trend – and it isn’t coincidental that it is manifesting in a car that bucks another trend:

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:

These “technologies” are unsafe, for at least the following reasons.

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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22 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; How is the operator supposed to be responsible for the safe operation of the vehicle if he can’t even control it?

    There should be a statute (yeah I know, “ought to be a law” is an evil statement on this website) that gradually shifts liability onto the manufacturer the more they remove driver autonomy.

  2. Think subscription services.

    How long until the car companies start charging a monthly fee for the safety tech after they get drivers so used to them that they don’t want to drive without it?

    • Dan, Good. Let those safety freaks pay for their safety devices. and pay forever and ever amen. Let there be a cost for their fearfulness and their blind obedience to a gotdam ic chip.

  3. Please clarify – push/hold, once and done, or does it reset when the car is off needing another 3 second push on restart? I applaud Toyota for doing this. A rental Volkswagen was a lengthy menu scroll to turn off lane assist on EVERY start.

  4. THIS, is a kickass line: “There is one button every new car ought to have…”

    Add to that, every other riding machine, and hand-held machine, too! …All the buttons/switches ya gotta press-on to keep doing something. It’s annoying as Hell.

    Fer instance, I experienced using a newer John Deere riding mower, whoa boy, ya gotta step on a “brake” to start the engine, then, if you lift your butt off the seat to reach into your pocket, the engine shuts off.
    That happens every time you get out of the seat, as if no one does that while mowing… yah, run a jumper wire, one at the intake, too.
    Do another jumper for mower blades which shut off every time you hit the reverse pedal without simultaneously holding up a bypass button. Annoying, as sheet!

    Yeesh, as BJ wrote, “The vast majority has been done at the behest of either the insurance mafia…”
    Nevermind, pro-duct-tivity & e-ffic-ency. That’s an after-thought.

  5. I too am surprised such a car exists.
    Love the expression “the estrogenated car.” Nailed it. Time to repeal the female vote.

    • Anon,
      Which is why this car IS available. Women sports car drivers are a distinct minority. And while I’ve known a few that drove them quite well, many do not. They got outvoted on this car. Unlike most car makers, Toyota has a bad habit of listening to its customers.
      At 3100 pounds, it’s still too heavy.

  6. Hey Eric,
    Just to “stick it to ’em” maybe test some basic defeats on the press car nannies and “reply” to your own article under an alias on what Joe Schmoe defeats work. I would assume most camera systems are blinded by painters tape, radar maybe needs a bit of folded aluminum foil taped over the sensor, pull the fuse, disconnect a harness etc. I assume any disabling will trigger a warning message on the dash though but as long as it doesn’t gimp the car it’s better than the backseat driver.
    On another note, systems that have a physical button to disable ASS, traction control etc can be defeated with a time delay relay module and some dash digging. The modules run off 5 to 24v and can be programmed to temporarily close a relay X seconds after being triggered or turned on by voltage. With proper wiring to a key on hot circuit it’ll close the switch just after you start the car. Won’t be any help for the “fancy” cars that force you to use the screen or some elaborate cheat code combination of buttons and brake presses.

  7. And then there is the “safety” assist rough pavement along the right and left edges of the lane on a 2 lane road. This has 2 unintended effects, imo.
    (1) It narrows the smooth pavement of the lane by about 10 inches which can be an issue for some drivers, and more importantly
    (2) when you inadvertently ride upon this rough pavement, it slows the wheels that ride on it, which causes the car to turn in that direction. This sends the car farther away from the center of the lane. That is, in the direction of oncoming traffic or off the road altogether.

    Thanks again to morons in government for the unnecessary ‘assistance’ wrecking my car and possibly the oncoming car. too.

    • Yes, John, this has long been a pet peeve of mine. Why would you ever take a smooth road and intentionally make it rough?
      The now-retired editor of a small weekly paper in our area was always ranting that we needed rumble strips in this place or that – for saaaaafety. He seems to have gotten his way, as you can’t go anywhere now without being hounded, and often startled, by these things.
      A few years ago they dug up the brand-new pavement to install two giant patches of rough concrete as you approach the stop sign where a road that we have to use all the time dead-ends onto a larger highway just outside of town, presumably so you don’t blow through the stop sign and get hit or end up in one of the farmers’ co-op grain bins on the other side. I wonder how much that cost.
      It’s not like the stop sign is hidden; you can see it clearly from at least half a mile away. Now, there is no avoiding these stupid things because they go across the entire lane, so every time, you’re scolded by that “grrrrrrrrumph, grrrrrrrrumph!” As far as I know there had never been a wreck at that intersection caused by somebody not noticing the stop sign. But, but, it might happen! And if it saves one life…

      • John and Roland,
        I had my first experience with rumble strips on two lane roads a few weeks ago. Very disconcerting. Should I drive over the crumbling pavement at the roads edge or drive over the rumble strip? How convenient they are though for those who text while driving, even on two lane. Add the lane keep assist, and they barely have to look up at all.

  8. Fifty years ago, a typical 183 cubic-inch straight six might have produced 120 horsepower — 0.67 hp per cubic inch.

    In the 2023 Supra, Toyota’s 3.0 liter six produces 380 hp. That’s more than two horsepower per cubic inch: more than triple the specific output of its vintage counterpart.

    At the same time, emissions likely have been slashed by an even larger factor.

    How obscene it is for lawyers, environmentalists, politicians — people who sponge off the ingenuity of actual makers — to reject this outstanding human accomplishment with a cavalier wave of their manicured hands.

    What have they ever done for us? What did they ever invent or improve?

    • Hi Jim H.

      What have they done for us? You entirely miss the point. Very little of this was done for us (the peasants). The vast majority has been done at the behest of either the insurance mafia, or one of the other special interest groups that fund and support the various Gangs. This is all about power and its application. Which is what the Gangs have always been about. Regulatory capture was just the first step. Beyond that is the complete corruption of the system at its most basic levels. The last two plus years have been a object demonstration of that corruption.

      But corruption is one thing. Seeking the destruction of the basic foundations of society and civilization is quite another. Energy is the very life blood of modern civilization. Attacking that is a demonstration of the anti human malice that under pins most of the Progs horrific ideology.

      I’m really surprised that this car is being allowed to be sold within the Empire. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.

    • Not a Gott-damned thing. And they’re represented in disproportionate amounts by CHOSENITES. Which of itself is neither here nor there, but it’s how “dat TRIBE, dere” typically makes a living. As the late George Lincoln Rockwell put it in his famed fables, the “Ducks and the Hens”, how did the ‘hens’, representing the “Chosen”, wrote:

      And how will you hens earned your daily bread?
      Why, we’ll buy, and sell, and entertain, they said…

      Ergo, they found ways to make a living without actually PRODUCING anything. Kinda like how the Ghostbusters got founded, as they’d been kicked out of “NY-Youse” (NYU), mainly for Dr. Venkmenn’s being a “poor scientist”.

      Ray Stanz: Frankly, I LIKED the University. We got money, equipment, and facilities, and we didn’t have to PRODUCE anything! You don’t know what it’s like out there, Venkman. I’ve WORKED in the Private Sector. They expect RESULTS!

      • Hi Doug.

        I loved the original movie.

        Its been my experience that universities and think tanks are almost as bad the the Gangs (governments). As long as you look busy, toe the party line and kiss the proper rear ends, all is well.

        Which of course means that any “research” is tainted by politics and agenda from its inception. What passes for “science” these days is a tragic joke. Most of the real science that exists today, is found within the patron system. Which has been making a come back behind the scenes.

        As for the “Chosen” there is a fascinating history behind that. As with science, real historians still exist. You just have to know what to look for. You can get many useful leads in the history of banking. Couple that with the rise of central banks, and you will have a much better insight into what has happened and what is happening.

  9. Great article – I concur Eric. I have no desire to own anything built past the early 2000s’ despite their very impressive power output.

    One good thing about the microprocessor shortage: The OEMs are being forced to remove some of these “safety / convenience” options or else build no cars at all.

    We make switches – like all the rows of buttons you see that are used to turn off all the latest annoying tech.

    One OEM cannot get micros for the rear park assist module, so that means we needed to quote new switch bank variants that have a blank button where the “rear park assist off” button used to be. This was previously a standard feature: You couldn’t order any version of the car without it. Even the lowest cost models had this “feature”

    Same story on the “lane keep assist off” button. There will now be a blank button there.

    Here’s to hoping the micro shortage lasts even longer!

  10. Wow … the Supra offers a 3.0 liter straight six mated to the 6-speed manual trans.

    Almost like an updated BMW Z3.

    This is the first new car that has sparked any interest in me for years.

  11. One can hardly argue with the most successful auto maker for the last few decades. Saw that they have a massive recall on their EV venture cars. Do what you do best Toyota, make high quality cars people want, and can afford. Since I haven’t driven a care newer than 2008, my experience with the nanny tech is limited. However, I got a rude introduction to traction stability control in an ’08 Miata with an AT. I was driving home after buying it, and every curve where I pushed the car, it acted like I was losing control. Causing me to react to a thing the car was doing on its own. Read the manual when I got home, and found the button to turn it off. Which has to be done EVERY time you start the car. I can only imagine how dangerous a car taking over the steering wheel in the middle of a critical situation might be. Was always one of my major complaints about ATs, changing gears in the middle of navigating a curve. Wish I could still drive a manual.

    • John: Check out a shop that does high performance tuning as they may be able to shut it off. Another way I’ve heard of is using a linear actuator to push the button every time the vehicle starts (a timing circuit may be needed also), obviously you would move the switch for this.

      • Landru,
        I solved the problem by trading it for an ’06 with a manual transmission, and a lot fewer miles. The automatic was an experiment that failed.

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