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in-car backlash

Posted by putsimply on 3rd December 2008

Two items in the current issue of Automotive Electronics caught my eye today, one from a guy working for Frost and Sullivan warning that there will be a backlash from drivers reacting to the spiralling number of safety and assistance features being added to modern cars – “removing all the fun and enjoyment from driving.”

He says we should watch Asia first for what’s coming as that’s where the newest systems get market-tested first.  The next item I saw was about MIRA (motor industry research association) touting its in-car RF modelling, suggesting that the radio environment – in a car carrying three people packing mobiles – could put transmitted radio power inside the vehicle into levels covered by the EU directive on human exposure to radio signals.

We don't need all those gadgets to drive safe do we?

First off – I’m quite old and likely to be part of the driver-assistance backlash, it’s already here as far as I’m concerned. I already can park in small spaces, read speed limit signs (and even obey them sometimes), judge a safe distance and generally look behind me when changing lanes, that’s all part of driving right?

I love sensible technology but I’m with Frost and Sullivan. In the current economic climate car buyers are more concerned with economy, reliability and cost than shaving fractions of percentage points off probabilities they’ll be involved in a shunt at some time during the life of the car.   And as for radio-exposure inside cars, that sounds like a simulation too far to me, if it wasn’t for MIRA featuring in the article I’d be looking for a government funded research project up for grabs somewhere – goodness I’m so cynical.

Perhaps we need radio jammers fitted to all our cars, so that while in motion all cellular frequencies are null so you may as well switch your mobiles off and save lives by eliminating proven distraction?

Drive safely.