Go Ahead, Put Jalops In Charge Of The Accident Avoidance System Today

Illustration for article titled Go Ahead, Put Jalops In Charge Of The Accident Avoidance System Today

Wouldn't it be great if we knew exactly what the car next to us was going to do before it actually moved? A lot of you might say no, because that means more electronic intervention ruining the joy of driving. Isn't it enough we have to put up with stuff like undefeatable stability control and nasty electric power steering?

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Toyota was probably trying to reassure all of us when it announced its latest in anti-accident technology. You know, it might actually be a great idea if your car had an understanding of what the car next to you was doing so it could help you avoid a big crash. All of this radar-guided, camera-driven stuff sounds great as long as there's a steering wheel and a place for a driver that doesn't make it a total autonomous car.

That was up until Toyota said it was all intended to keep its cars "fun to drive." Let's face the facts that, aside from a few exceptions, Toyotas made these days aren't fun to drive. So this is just PR BS and more electronic intervention we don't need. Unless Toyota was giving us a hint as to the kind of programmers they hired.

At least that's what Spiegel "Reddit" McTumblr might think:

******TOYOTA AUTOMATED HIGHWAY DRIVING ASSIST*******
*****************2013 TOYOTA MOTOR COMPANY***************
***************FEARLESS LEADER AKIO TOYODA****************

Start;
if{myspeed >= 65
(run checktheotherassholescar)}

checktheotherassholescar
if{thatguysspeed=myspeed
then(run yutailgatingmebro)}

else if{myspeed < 65
(run playsomeyannibecausewhythefucknot)}

else{runlocationprogram}

runlocationprogram
if{location = New Jersey
(run disableeverything
run yourenotgoingtouseanyofthis
run watchfortheassholeinthebmw)}

I heard Akio Toyoda thinks this is a good idea. He just liked this post using Lexus Enform coming back from the scarf store.

Photo: Ford

DISCUSSION

Forgive me for being a Luddite, but all this crap is actually making cars and drivers more dangerous. If we want features to avoid accidents, we need intelligent ones, that allow you to focus on your urban hell drive:

  • Simple controls that are easy to use, like they used to be,
  • Cruise control that adjusts for the speed of the car ahead,
  • Warning LEDs that are visible without taking your eyes off the road,
  • Steering that gives good mechanical feedback,
  • etc.

Because avoiding an accident caused by a human, will always require attention by other humans. The idea of having a machine behave like a person results in less useful machines. Stanislov Lem understood this over thirty years ago.