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Is Volvo Trying To Make Drivers Dumber?

Has anybody else seen the Volvo S80 commercials that tout their new fancy safety features? In reality, they are just making it easier for people to drive like morons.

I can't find a link to these videos anywhere, but there are a couple commercials that strike me as off. One has a woman driving the Volvo with a pile of file folders on her passenger seat. Something causes a couple of the folders to come off the seat onto the floor. So instead of waiting until she's stopped to get the folders off the floor, she continues driving and leans down to pick her folders. Her head is below her windshield so she obviously can't see or isn't even remotely watching the road in front of her. Thankfully the car is smarter than she is, and its collision detection system kicks it, makes an awful noise to warn her and gets the car ready to brake, saving her (and her files) just in time.

The second commercial shows a guy driving down a freeway. In the commercial, the guy nearly changes lanes right into the motorcycle in the lane next to him, something he could've avoided if a) he'd been paying attention to traffic as he's going down the freeway), b) actually turned his head before changing lanes, like you're supposed to do (everybody remembers that part of driver's ed., right?) or c) he had his mirrors adjusted so blind spots weren't as big of an issue. But he avoids the accident because of the "Blind Spot Information System" (which, for all I can tell, is a little red light on the mirror that lights up when you're about to clobber somebody).

Now don't get me wrong -- these are all great safety features, and these are nice cars (I'd drive one if someone gave me one), but my worry is that this is going to teach drivers to rely on these features instead of just flat-out paying attention while they're driving. They should be a supplement for a driver, not a replacement for common sense.

(Edited: Fixed a couple of stupid typos.)

Posted by Jake on 03/26/07 @ 05:34 PM
Posted in Rants, Sad, Stupid | Permalink

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