Friday, March 21, 2008

"Safety" Features, Anyone?

For those of you who subscribe to Smart Money, you may have seen their recent article on "The New Backseat Drivers". (In a move of pure stupidity, it seems, they make it incredibly difficult to a.) find their article online, and b.) link to it.) I've also found another interesting article from cnet. As the cnet article states, "your car could one day tell you when you're about to screw up". The problem is how your car tells you this.

How about a vibrating seat, or a red light showing up in your rear view mirror, or even a vibrating steering wheel? Some cars may even come "equipped" with a system that will apply the brake to your vehicle if it "senses" you're about to get into an accident.

I don't know about you, but I think I'd be a bit distracted by some of these "safety" features. I guess I'd actually have to see how they work in practice, but you're supposed to actually be paying attention when you drive, right? It seems to me that a vibrating steering wheel or a light in the rear view mirror might actually distract you from the road at the exact time you needed to pay attention to it.

In another example of manufacturer markups gone berserk, the Smart Money article states that some of the "safety" technology can carry as much as a "fivefold markup from wholesale". With markups like that, are we really supposed to believe that our safety is a high priority of the manufacturers?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It sounds like profit safety is a paramount concern.