Over the last eight months, I have been completing my Education Degree in a city two counties over. I commute each day – 250 km per day, 1000 km each week for a grand total of 32 000 km by the time I am finished this summer. I spend a lot of time in my car. So as a result I tend to watch car commercials. I find new vehicles interesting. New gadgets, new models, new designs all peak my interest. But I think we have perhaps passed the zenith of human growth and are on the way back down.
Over the last eight months I have seen some fairly dumb stuff while driving. There are the people who text and drive. The ones who eat their breakfast on the way to wherever it is they are going. There is the woman who always seems to be doing her makeup when I see her at the stop light each morning. I even saw a guy shaving a few weeks ago. There was the car that passed me during a snow storm and the driver, who was talking on his phone, blew his horn at me for going too slow. (I guess driving 50kph in a snow storm where visibility was less than 100m was too slow!) All of these people need to budget some more time for themselves. By doing so, they will have more time to pay more attention to their driving. It seems that almost everyone behind the wheel of a car these days is doing something that would be more safely done somewhere else. I guess that's why the commercial I just saw hit close to home.
The ad in question was for a car that has proximity sensors that warn the driver when objects are too close to the car. This car also apparently parallel parks itself. You can see the reason for my assertion that we have reached as high as we can go. We have given up on creating good drivers. It has become too hard to teach people how to drive safely. We have apparently decided that it is easier to invest untold hundreds of thousands of dollars to invent, design and manufacture cars which do all of the things I was taught to do for myself in driver training. That proximity sensing when objects are too close feature—I've got that for free. It's called eyes which are imbedded in a head which swivels on the top of my neck. It works best when my ear is not attached to a cell phone! Parallel parking I learned through practice and using my built in proximity sensors.
If we spent less time with eating, chatting on the phone, personal grooming and actually paid attention to what we are doing, I predict that we wouldn't need this stuff at all. We would actually be able to drive.