Driving Aids Good or Bad?

At present driving aids such as lane assist, radar cruise control, automatic breaking are optional. How long before they have to be on if fitted?

3y ago

I test drove a car with lane departure warning at the weekend. Whilst I realise that some people might find them useful for me it seemed to be taking away from my control of the car. I turned it off but on restarting the engine it was enabled again.

The particular problem I had with it was on a single carriageway road with roadworks narrowing the lane I was in. When I moved out to straddle the white line to get past the road works the car tried to turn the wheel back towards the road works. I can see on long, clear, multi-lane, roads that these may have a place but I'd rather know that the people are actively driving their cars rather than increasingly delegating some part of driving to the car.

Soon it won't be possible to buy a car, other than at the bottom end, without these fitted. They probably generate an increased profit for the manufacturer so they'll want to push them. As long as you can switch them off permanently I'm ok with it. However how long will it be before insurers start punishing drivers if they turn them off?

In contrast to my position on the newer aids I've yet to turn off ESC/DSC on my daily driver*. I think I've only had it engage a couple of times in the 36000 miles I've driven it. On those occasions it was because I'd not read the conditions correctly and it was stopping me making an expensive 400hp mistake. So I'll leave on ESC/DSC, it makes me feel more comfortable. Likewise I wouldn't dream of disabling ABS.

What do people think? Are you looking forward to the day that you don't have to drive, or are these aids the Spawn of Satan?

Driving assist usefulness

* Slight fib. I had an RX-8 at one point and parked in a basement garage with an exposed ramp to exit it. One day this was covered in snow and the only way to get out was to turn off DSC and crab up the ramp with the wheels spinning.

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Comments (1)

  • I have never driven, yet, so I can only give a theoretical point of view. The idea of a car that makes it all easy so I can focus on other things, in gridlocked and stop-start traffic sounds good. But I certainly would love to push a car to its potential, man and machine, on the open road. In vast Australia, there's a lot of open road.

      3 years ago