When I hear about “Connected Cars”, I go crazy. To me, Connected Cars mean that robot guy in the cab in “Total Recall” (the original movie, not the cheesy remake with Colin Farrell, which is another rant entirely). I believe that Arnold shot the unfortunate cabbie in the head. At any rate, the simple truth is that our cars have been connected for years and for as long as I have been in the M2M space, there has been this idea that our cars, through IDS (Intelligent Driving Systems), would be able to do the driving for us. Back in the day, they were going to rely on pegs put into the road to keep the car in its lane and at speed … what a quaint and frankly dangerous proposition! The other day, I saw an Audi that advertised lane correction using camera-based technology. My modestly priced car features total collision avoidance and beeps at me if someone is in my blind spot or if there is movement to my side if I am backing up. Heck, even my wife’s Honda Fit (a modestly priced compact car) has a camera that looks down the right side of the car when turning right. Don’t get me wrong, I think the electronics in cars to make them safer is a good thing, probably a great thing and it’s to be applauded, but “Connected” cars? The car companies are practically encouraging you to drive distracted.
Distracted driving kills, we all know that, but our penchant to be entertained is an even greater pull. Who is to blame at this point? Someone on SnapChat or the car manufacturer who put all that wonderful stuff in an entertainment package that you selected as an option at the dealership? Someone in our city was charged recently for watching a screen in their car as opposed to the road and was fined $240.00 this I guarantee is the tip of the iceberg. It used to be, when I bought my first car, that my only distraction was playing my 8-Track too loud or trying to get close to the song I wanted to hear by … Or perhaps rescuing a tape cassette when the machine started to eat it. Today reaching for something in the car accounts for the least number of crashes at 6% of teen crashes Today, the unconnected cars that have a cell phone in them are just as likely to hurt us as they are help us.
In a recent news report by AP columnist Judy Lowry 58 % of teen crashes were caused by distracted driving. I encourage everyone to have a look at the video, and read the article. It sobering.
I am all for being driven around … secretly I imagine having a chauffeur, I mean how cool would that be? It probably explains why I like to use taxis when I travel as opposed to rent a car. Alas, the Board and Shareholders would never go for it, so I am forced to drive myself around and that’s really my point. There is no advantage to having a Connected Car if you have to drive yourself. So, until we live in a future with the McQuades and Quattos, I really don’t see the point of being connected, except maybe if your car calls an ambulance for you when you are in an accident from reading your emails at the wheel.