Relying On Technology That Isn’t There

BMW Sentra crash

I’ve outsourced my brain to my phone.

I can’t believe it’s happened, but it’s true. Last night’s conversation at home turned to the Dave Matthews Band, which led to trying to remember which movie Dave was in a few years ago. My first reaction was to reach for my phone, rather than pause, process and try to remember the title.

That’s just one example of relying on technology. There was no harm done, other than to my ego upon realizing my phone does most of my thinking.

Relying on technology, though, can quickly turn bad. Relying on car technology can be even worse, especially when it’s technology that’s not even there.

As cool as modern technology in cars can be, there’s an inherent danger as it becomes more prolific. Parking assist and adaptive cruise control are perhaps the most dangerous, because they train the driver to stop thinking while driving.

LeftLane News pointed out the faults in the technology with the story of a man who relied on BMW’s Park Assist feature, but ended up sideways on top of a Sentra instead of comfortably parked in his desired spot. He says the system failed and accelerated the vehicle instead of slowing it down.

The only problem: His car wasn’t equipped with BMW’s Park Assist feature.

As new cars continue to come packed with cutting-edge technology, it’s becoming expected that some cars will just have certain features as standard equipment. You expect your new car to have seat belts and windshield wipers, so you don’t think to ask the salesman if those are included.

Could the same thing be happening with features like Park Assist?

As I shake my head in utter astonishment that this guy blamed a non-existent piece of technology for his error, I can’t help but wonder if this kind of accident will only become more common. I hope that’s not the case, but with our brains now in our hands instead of our heads, anything is possible.

Do you rely on technology like Park Assist and adaptive cruise control in your car?


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