Requiring What’s Already Standard . . .

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The federal “safety” apparat intends to mandate – that word, again – that all new cars be fitted with automatic emergency braking “technology” within a few years from now, if not sooner. The apparat says it is merely considering mandating but that is of a piece with the federal apparat asking you to do something – by which of course is meant you will do something.

Like wear the “mask” that was mandated.

One might ask the impertinent question: Where in the Constitution does the federal apparat get the authority to mandate “safety”? Everyone knows the answer to that question, which was given some 20 years ago by the then-figurehead of the federal apparat, George W. Bush, who told us the Constitution is “just a goddamned piece of paper.”

He was right, of course.

If he had been wrong, the Constitution would have prevented him from waging war without a congressional declaration, among other things.

Back to this business of mandating automatic emergency braking, which is a “technology” that applies the brakes when the car thinks it needs to stop. More precisely, when the car’s programming think it’s necessary to stop. This can and does occur when there is no necessary reason to stop, just the same as the “technology” that tries to force you back into your travel lane when you are trying to steer out of it.

The “technology” will brake when the car ahead of you slows – as to turn off the road, which its driver is signaling his intention to do. You can see that the car will be out of your way long before you get to where it is now, but the car’s programming does not compute this; it only “sees” the car ahead and in your putative way – and applies the brakes, to prevent you from hitting what’s no longer there.

The same “technology” sometimes will do the same – when it mistakes a berm in the curve ahead for you about to drive into something. It is not unheard of for the car to just hit the brakes for no apparent reason at all. I test drive new cars each week and this has already happened to me. Lucky for me, there was no one coming up behind me when the car decided to slow to a stop in the middle of the road for no apparent reason.

But that is neither here nor there – as regards the pending mandating of this “technology,” which is already standard equipment in probably nine out of ten new cars, another thing I can attest to as someone who test drives new cars each week.

I cannot recall a single one over the past two years that did not come standard with a suite of “advanced driver assistance technology,” including automatic emergency braking – which goes by various names, including Brake Assistance, Advanced (it is always “advanced” when it comes this “technology”) Collision Avoidance and other such names for the same thing. Along with Lane Keep Assist, Lane Departure Mitigation – and so on.

Plus, more.

Including “pedestrian avoidance technology.”

And there is no opting out – never mind the fact that many would, if they could. But they cannot, without opting out of buying a new car. This interestingly suggestive – and not merely in the manner of suggestive selling, the obnoxious practice of pushing something on you that you didn’t ask for pioneered, apparently, by McDonald’s. As in, would you like fries with that?

As in – no, or I would have ordered them.

This is worse, of course, because no one’s suggesting anything. And it’s not just the federal “safety” apparat, either. It is the car companies, who are becoming adjuncts of the apparat, if they are not already entirely that. They no longer fight the regs.

They anticipate them.

And that brings up the really interesting about all this “advanced driver assistance technology.” The fact that it is already included in most new cars anticipates the mandates – but also more than that.

It lets us know what will be mandated next.

Most of which is already here, too.

Can you guess?

It is the soon-to-be-mandatory driverless car, in the sense that you won’t be the one driving it. Not outside the parameters established by the programming, at any rate. It will “assist” you to not drive any faster – any more aggressively – than the programming allows. Instead of passing slow-moving, left-lane-dawdling traffic, you will be among the dawdling. It will not allow you to change lanes without signaling first. It will make you come to a complete stop at every stop sign, irrespective of the need to do that (beyond the performance of mindless obedience to signage).

There will be no “speeding”- and not much driving, either. Plus, you will eat ze bugs.

This is what they have in mind and it is why they are putting it in cars, irrespective of demand for it and even before the apparat demands it.

The expectation is that people will get used to it – as they have to having to spread their legs in order to be allowed to fly. As they wore a “mask” to “stop the spread.”

It’s all of a piece – and until people get the picture, there won’t be any stopping it.

. . .

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41 COMMENTS

  1. Yesterday was National Shoot the Messenger Day. Such a red-letter day.

    The computer-controlled vehicles that do stupid maneuvers are like drunk drivers.

    You’ll have to arrest the car. Just plain out of control, get off the road, idiot cars are everywhere you go. A chimera of what once was, a travesty of a mockery of a sham.

    Gravel and asphalt backroads is where you go and stay there until the last five miles into town.

    I have a John Deere lawn tractor with a mower deck. There is a Kawasaki 17 horsepower engine to power the lawn tractor to do the work. I do nothing except be along for the ride like a dog with his tongue hanging out the window, about all you can do besides putting it in gear and engaging the mower blades to spin.

    The solenoid to the carburetor was shot, too old. Ordered a new carburetor from John Deere for 321 USD, the wrong carburetor was delivered even though I gave specific communication for what the carburetor must be.

    Rejected the transaction, I want my money back, you have to do it right.

    Not a difficult task if you listen and make sure you have all of the correct information.

    Bought a solenoid for about 12 dollars from another order to solve the broke-down problem, it worked.

    The John Deere lawn tractor will mow down two-feet high brome grass with zero problem. It is a powerful machine, does everything as expected.

    You have to jump through hoops for a good hour to order the wrong part/parts from John Deere. Ain’t any different anywhere else in the world.

    Saved 309 dollars for using my stupid brain.

    I’ll be damned!

  2. Ultimately, I believe, the goal is to make cars so expensive that very few can even afford them, thereby limiting the “plebes” to public transportation or walking.

    These illegal mandates just push things in that direction.

  3. What authorizes these mandates and regulations? Nothing.

    Sure SCOTUS back in the 30’s decided the president can do whatever he wants, but that doesn’t make it legit.

    No one stands up and says no because those in power benefit from all the mandates. Big companies can afford it, start ups can’t.

    • You’re right, Dan –

      And there is a related factor. Many people are ok with the government ordering around other people, especially if the people being ordered around are doing (or not doing) something they don’t like. This busybodyism led to the so-called “Civil War” and goes all the wayback to the Puritans in New England and the Parliamentarians in England, then deeper and farther back still. It is the human condition, the primal defect in our species.

      • Well Eric,

        you sure are right on the American front. Puritans (the political type) are the scourge of peaceful people who wish to be left alone.

        My theory is they were really unleased once scientism came to the fore. Eugenics, Marxism, and directing “proper” society via math, economics and science. Interesting how their directing often ends up in prohibitions: alcohol, drugs, guns, soon to be cars that work. Never have these prohibitions produced the results sought.

  4. What also find interesting is how will the whole zero to 60 marketing be affected when the speed limiters are installed in every car. Isn’t that one of the main attractions of Teslas. Ludicrous speed? The ability to heat all the ice cars out at the stoplight? What will Tesla buyers buy when their car becomes just as slow as all the other cars. What about the high end sports cars, Porsche and BMW M cars? There wont be any point to buying something when you are not able to enjoy the power speed and handling.

    • Exactly, RS!

      I have been trying to point out the same. All this “ludicrous” speed is only being allowed… for now. Soon, it won’t be. Then what?

  5. I’m praying I can turn off lane keep assist in my new car. I forgot to turn it off in my 330 yesterday and it would not let me change lanes on an empty stretch of road and I had just accelerated to cross two lanes to get into the left turn lane. It is startling and disturbing sensation when your car wont obey you. Of course my mind always goes straight to the conspiracy theories on these Orwellian policies but I’m already thinking whats to stop “your government” from causing certain people they deem troublesome to have a single car accident. I mean they can control your car, so why would they not take an opportunity to remote control a hit on you.

    • RS, when the salesperson was going over the features of our new Corolla with me, I told her that I wanted the lane assist (I forget what Toyota calls it) turned off. She said she’d leave it on so I could try it on the way home. I suspect they’re afraid of the liability if they turn it off for you. Anyhow, there is one stretch of road that was converted years ago from two lanes to four, and the seams in the concrete do not coincide with the lane markings. As I was afraid would happen, the car wanted to follow the seams instead of the faded stripes. It is indeed startling, disturbing, and creepy.

      • I was driving Toyota Forerunner a few years back, when I was getting my older car fixed. Even with the safety stuff turned off, it was still trying to fight me with the lane keep assist. It had snowed again. So, you know, we were all driving where the roads were clear of snow, the lines be damned. That is how it works in these parts, and the cops are not going to care, ’cause they are doing the same thing. Even with the lane-keep-assist turned off, I could feel the steering wheel trying to fight me on it. It was truly annoying to say the least. Up here, at some point, people may just try putting duct tape over the camera sensors, just to spite the damned thing, to see what would happen-ha ha.

        • I live on a “dirt” road. Mud covers the rear end most of the time, also the plate is solid brown. The camera sees nothing. Fortunately I use the mirrors.

  6. “… when it mistakes a berm in the curve ahead for you about to drive into something. It is not unheard of for the car to just hit the brakes for no apparent reason at all.”

    This makes me think of the WV Turnpike between the mid and north toll booths…aka “The Twisties”. There is a downhill section that ends at a tight right-hander. It’s got a double height median wall with signage and lights a mile before warning truckers to keep it at 50. Although I’ve only driven it fewer than 100 times I’ve seen more than one semi on its side there. The gouges and scrapes are innumerable.

    Imagine the madcap merriment when one of these auto-brake cars decides to stop due to the median wall.

    I swear they’re trying to kill us all.

    • Something like that would get a driver killed in these parts. When the roads are snowy and icy. And a stupid vehicle like that decides to just up and slam on the brakes for no apparent reason? Meanwhile, the driver is trying to employ counter corrective measures to either keep from hitting other vehicles, or go off the road. If an accident happens, who is at fault, since the driver has no control, and no say in this situation? The way I see it, the driver should not have to pay for insurance for something he is forced to accept and has no control over. One should sue the manufacture for installing this crap in the vehicle in the first place. But, we all know that will never happen. After all, this was installed (and we were killed) for our saaaaaafety.

  7. I had a VW UP GTI ordered early last year but when I discovered it came standard (with no option to remove) Emergency Braking and Lane Assist I cancelled. I know I’m in the minority but the VAG lost a sale because of this shit.
    Occationally VW and Audi reach out to me regarding a new vehicle but I always reply saying, with all the electronic junk (including hand brake) and everything now available only in 4 doors, they no longer offer anything interesting or desirable.

    • Hi Doug,

      More of this, please! It’s how things change. Passivity – acceptance of what we don’t want and didn’t ask for – is how we got to where we are. If we want to get away from there, we can.

      Just by saying NO!

      • With new care prices going up, and middle class wealth going down, most of us will soon have no choice but to say NO! and look at used cars instead, if any. No has long been my very favorite word. It solves a lot of problems.

      • I just said no to pretty much every car company out there when I recently was shopping for a new car. I do not want any of these features. None! But what really turned me off is the new digital instrument panels. Terrible, disgusting things. I have given up on a new car and will keep my 2008 Saab. My next new car will be used car without the new car B.S.

        • Hi Albert,

          I’m of the same mind regarding new cars. I despise touch screens – but I despise not being able to opt out even more. I tire of being rip-tide’d along by the (apparent) desires (or passivity) of other people, who seem to want all this stuff or do not care enough to object when it is mandated by the government. I’m not a Luddite. I very much like the electricity that lets me type this paragraph and send it your way. I like hot and cold running water – and many other things besides. But I dislike gimmicks and – even more – being parented by technology.

  8. “…the obnoxious practice of pushing something on you that you didn’t ask for…”

    “There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.”  Robert Heinlein

  9. Will be fun to watch when this tech malfunctions and stops dead on the highway while a semi is right behind you….or someone hacks into it to give the same result. May be a way to get rid of those with an improper social credit score, like most of us here.

    • Hi Mike,

      “Will be fun to watch when this tech malfunctions and stops dead on the highway while a semi is right behind you..”

      This has literally happened to me already. The car just braked – and came to a stop – in the middle of the road.

      • If you can’t drive your car without being harassed and harangued by artificial intelligence, you are a slave, you are not able to do what you want to do while driving. You can only do what the AI tells you to do, you must obey.

        If not, they will be able to kill you with the artificial intelligence programmed from the panopticon.

        Don’t need no stinking SWAT team, just a kill switch.

        There is corruption in anything, well, there is humor in everything.

      • I have a 2023 Kenworth T680. While it is a very nice truck in so many ways it too has a Collision Avoidance system which works in conjunction with the cruise control. While this system is not as sensitive and over reactive as the Freightliner system it has its share of false readings as well. Most alarming is if it causes the trailer to break loose due to sudden hard braking, there is the potential to cause a catastrophic event to all motorists including myself. I don’t need this system as I have over 3 million safe miles, I look well ahead and pay attention, and I DON”T tailgate. One time while driving across the Mojave (in my previous Freightliner) a tumble weed was blowing across I40 which caused the truck and trailer to lock the brakes down. The moron driving a truck tailgating me was really p!$$#d as he nearly rear ended me. The only defense I have when this situation occurs is to floor the throttle pedal and hope I can over power the brakes and regain some control.

        This, of course is all in the name of Safffffffffty!

  10. So in addition to dealing with the occasional driver who does stupid things for no apparent reason, we now get to deal with automated systems that do stupid things for no apparent reason as well?
    As my former wife used to say when I was driving a Miata aggressively, “Wheeeeeee!”

  11. “until people get the picture, there won’t be any stopping it.”
    Unfortunately, the “people” have already been replaced by the three monkeys. They neither hear, see, nor speak of any evil. Both fortunately and unfortunately, I think the car makers are going to come down with gangrene of the lower leg by playing footsie with the state, and most will die from it. There is no market for any of this nonsense except the one “mandated”. Until they can mandate you buy a new car, an unlikely event, they can only mandate the soon to die car companies to install them, not you to buy them.
    The state is 30+ trillion in debt and counting. Including the unfunded liabilities, over 100 trillion in debt. And that’s just FedGov. They are not really in any position to demand anything, except by permission of those three monkeys. Many won’t wake up and take their hands away until they are unemployed, homeless, hungry, and don’t even have a car to live out of.

  12. All that safety crap is giving me heartburn over getting a new Mazda CX-5 next year. I see for the moment they’ve quit putting the engine start/stop thing on them (chip shortage). There is still a button to temporarily turn off the lane keep/departure crap. No way to turn off the radar braking, just can turn down the sensitivity. Of course, then there is the awful cylinder deactivation (on a 4 cylinder engine!), only way to avoid that crap is to get a turbo. All that just makes me sad.

  13. Never forget that the driver assist technology is already or about to be a forced subscription based ‘service’. fascism by another name. rule by corporations. just another one to add their name to the ownership papers of ‘their’ product which will never include the name of the driver as an owner. the corporation who made it never lets go of ‘ownership.

    don’t pay the forced subscription and the car shuts off.

  14. “It’s all of a piece – and until people get the picture, there won’t be any stopping it.”- Eric

    Ohhh,,, they got the picture alright and they love it. It’s coooool they say. I see these new fugly junk piles parked in front of dilapidated houses everywhere. Like a baby with a new rattle to shake, Americans love useless techno gizmos. Taking their Idiot Phone would be like ripping their heart out.

    As for the Constitution thingy…. First it has to be respected. Then it has to be defended.
    Today our constitution doesn’t pass the first requirement as it is reviled as a racist, white supremacist, homophobic, antisemitic document. A green light for tyranny…

    • Bush Junior was absolutely correct. It’s just a piece of paper. If it worked, we would not be talking about it. Of course being the product of a coup against the Articles of Confederation doesn’t give it much grounds for “respect”, so it gets none. Once given the authority to tax, which the Articles did NOT grant, the game was over, and we have been governed by a gang of armed robbers ever since.

  15. My Cherokee has all that stuff. The only thing I use from time to time is the “smart” cruise control, and then only when in stop and go traffic. The first time I encountered the automatic braking was when I was in a clump of cars and somone was weaving through. He saw a gap (my space cushion) and jumped in. Cherokee slams on the brakes, alarms and displays “BRAKE” on the dashboard in red. I had no idea what happened, or even that it could happen. When I got home that was disabled. But I still get the warning sometimes.

    The odd thing is that when driving into the sunrise or sunset it will go off, no other traffic around. And if I don’t wipe down the camera/sensor when cleaning the windshield it can shut down (and puts up a warning/alarm that it isn’t available). If the damn thing is going to be required it had better be perfect.

    You know, just like the airbags of death that are mandated.

  16. I can think of only four legitimate excuses for hitting something that’s in front of you: a mechanical failure, a sudden physical impairment, instantaneous zero-visibility (smoke, fog, dust), or an animal darting into the road.

    In large part, we can thank idiot tailgaters for giving the feds the crash stats to justify these mandates. Anybody who can’t avoid hitting the vehicle in front of him when it stops – for any reason or for no reason at all – is too stupid to be trusted with driving.

    • You left one out. Somebody pulling out in front of you. I don’t care how good a driver you are, if you’re going 60, and somebody pulls out 10 feet in front of you, you’re going to hit them. In fact two. Same goes for someone changing lanes too close to you and then hitting their brakes. But none of this assistance tech would keep you from doing so either.

      • And I left one out. The care in front of you has brake assistance, lane keep assistance, and changes lanes and slams on the brakes for no apparent reason.

      • No.
        If you’re going 60 and he doesn’t start moving until you’re within 10 feet, you will be long gone before his nose gets out into the roadway. And if by some miracle he accelerated quickly enough to make contact, he would be hitting you – in the side, which is not something that you can reasonably be expected to avoid.
        Any time somebody is in a position to pull into my path – especially if he hasn’t stopped completely – if I don’t see his eyeballs looking right at me, I will begin to slow down, assuming that he is coming. That’s the way a professional acts. Similarly for your No. 2, as soon as I notice that someone is changing lanes too close in front of me, I take action to keep us separated. Unlike crybaby amateurs who think they have to “teach him a lesson” for “cutting me off” by holding their ground, two feet from his rear bumper. Pathetic.
        It is my responsibility not to hit what’s in front of me. I don’t expect anybody else, or any electronic gadget, to do that for me.

        • I agree with you, Roland –

          This kind of SA has kept me alive all these years of riding motorcycles. I always look at their eyes (and how their front wheels are pointed) and assume they are going to pull into my path and have already considered where I will go if they do.

  17. ‘automatic emergency braking is a “technology” that applies the brakes when the car thinks it needs to stop’ — eric

    This is wacko dangerous. Rear-end collisions will result.

    Such collisions only are (mostly) avoidable if the whole network is controlled, as in Automatic Train Control. With an all-vehicle hive mind, a moving 10-vehicle queue can all apply emergency braking at the same instant that the leading car does. Absent a fully-controlled network, reaction delay (whether human or electronic) almost ensures a pile-up.

    Of course, the key word is control. Humans are no longer considered reliable enough to operate vehicles. Therefore, the driver’s role is being phased out. We’re all passengers now, comrades, being trundled against our will down the Highway to Hell.

    No stop signs
    Speed limit
    Nobody’s gonna slow me down
    Like a wheel
    Gonna spin it
    Nobody’s gonna mess me around

    — AC/DC, Highway to Hell

    • “when the car thinks it needs to stop”
      Excuse me but I don’t care how “automated” the care is, it is NOT thinking, wherein lies the rub. One of the oldest assist tech is cruise control, and it STILL cannot see the hill you are approaching, and begin accelerating soon enough. Although your brake assistance may see it and hit the brakes.

  18. My 2018 Camry has the Collision Avoidance tech which, when turned off, results in an obnoxious light appearing in the instrument cluster until I reactivate the “feature”.

    Fine. For now, I can dial the sensitivity way down to where it isn’t annoying, but if I take the vehicle in for service at a Toyota dealer, the techs always restore the sensitivity to the factory default setting.

    The Lane Departure Assist has been turned off since that system nearly killed me driving home from the dealership after buying the car. “It is supposed to work that way” was the response.

    • The very best “Collision Avoidance” tech is a competent driver, driving a car that will do as it’s told, who can decide whether to brake, drive around, or take the ditch, in that nanosecond BEFORE hitting anything. May even have been monitoring their rearview, and know it isn’t SAFE to brake.

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