A Humorous Aside on Car Safety Technology — Back Seat Driver Assist and More

I recently blogged about one car company’s safety goals, and how that might be a model for access to justice goal setting.  That set me thinking about more advanced technology, going beyond such things as collision avoidance and blind spot monitoring.

Here are some of the next generation technology, supposedly under development.  Perhaps not the best recipe for safer roads!

Back Seat Driver Assist

Back Seat Driver Assist (BSDA) makes suggestions to the back seat driver on “helpful” comments that might be made to the driver, based on road conditions.  (The back seat driver chooses between two modes, one triggered by actual intervention situations and one those merely intended to be irritating.)

An advanced “Restrained Mode” prompts the backseat driver when he or she can say something like “I held back when you crossed the yellow line, three, five an seven minutes ago, but this is the fourth time.”)

An even more fully automated mode allows the backseat driver to train the software to speak in his or her own voice.  Then the backseat driver can go to sleep, secure in the knowledge that the driver will receive appropriate comments.  Upon awaking, the backseat driver can review the comments made for future reinforcement.

Baby Mute

Baby Mute (BM) allows the driver to trigger an alcoholic mist in front of baby’s face when needed.  An advanced BMBM more triggers automatically even before baby starts to fuss from a dirty diaper.

Aggressive Driving Package

While most software is built to enhance defensive driving, unfortunately it is far from clear that this will be appealing to the full range of drivers.  Thus the Aggressive Driving Package (ADP) will appeal to a broader range of drivers with features such as those that allow the pedestrian and bike avoidance tools to be redirected to attack mode. (Of course, this mode may be of less appeal if the car’s computer keeps track of usage and impacts.)

There’s also a feature that responds by breaking when people tailgate.

Programmable Personal Driving Style

PPDS pemits the driver to choose from pre-programmed driving styles such as NGWTM Never Give Way to a Mercedes) or PKTAS (Be Kind to Obama Supporters) which look for car brands and bumper stickers and the like, and adjust in accordance with the drivers instincts.  It is even rumored that Consumer Reports will be testing wich cars are better at detecting red or blue voters.  You can also create your own programs from such variables.

Thinking about all this makes we think we will probably be safer with completely driverless cars as soon as possible — but we all knew that already.