Removing the responsibility of the driver (yet more)

Removing the responsibility of the driver (yet more)

Saab has launched a system that warns you if you’re sleepy. Does this sound like a good excuse for people to drive when they feel sleepy because they’re putting the onus on the car to let them know if they’re dangerous? Does it open up Saab to lawsuits because some muppet will be drowsy, have an accident and blame the system for not alerting him to his drowsiness? In America, I bet, because some idiot put their RV in cruise control then walked into the back to make a cup of tea. I would say that in that particular instance, removal from the gene pool was probably desirable. Volvo has its Alcoguard – a great invention in my opinion because it stops people who are over the alcohol limit from driving. But with sleepiness, it’s far more subjective, and it can be overridden.

For a start, you can cancel the system by pushing a button. I stop my alarm in the morning sometimes without even waking up, so a drowsy driver can easily press the button without really waking up. I’m convinced that a breath-alcohol test is accurate for measuring how drunk someone is, plus, you can’t start the car if it fails; I’m not quite convinced (though it’s a noble idea in principal) that something that measures whether you will fall asleep and have an accident or not is as reliable.

If it saves a few lives, it’s worth it, but ultimately doesn’t it just remove us one more step from the decision-making process when driving? Eventually we’ll all just be advised to take the bus.

Saab has launched a system that warns you if you’re sleepy. Does this sound like a good excuse for people to drive when they feel sleepy because they’re putting the onus on the car to let them know if they’re dangerous? Does it open up Saab to lawsuits because some muppet will be drowsy, have an accident and blame the system for not alerting him to his drowsiness? In America, I bet, because some idiot put their RV in cruise control then walked into the back to make a cup of tea. I would say that in that particular instance, removal from the gene pool was probably desirable. Volvo has its Alcoguard – a great invention in my opinion because it stops people who are over the alcohol limit from driving. But with sleepiness, it’s far more subjective, and it can be overridden.

For a start, you can cancel the system by pushing a button. I stop my alarm in the morning sometimes without even waking up, so a drowsy driver can easily press the button without really waking up. I’m convinced that a breath-alcohol test is accurate for measuring how drunk someone is, plus, you can’t start the car if it fails; I’m not quite convinced (though it’s a noble idea in principal) that something that measures whether you will fall asleep and have an accident or not is as reliable.

If it saves a few lives, it’s worth it, but ultimately doesn’t it just remove us one more step from the decision-making process when driving? Eventually we’ll all just be advised to take the bus.

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