DOWN­FALL IN THE RISE OF THE MA­CHINES

Wheels (Australia) - - Your Say -

MY CEN­TRAL HEATING unit re­cently wouldn’t fire up. The screen menu in­di­cated that it would not start un­til I had booked a ser­vice, for which it judged the time was due. Bad luck on a cold Satur­day night. Rather than me us­ing my judge­ment, that choice was frus­trat­ingly de­nied me by over­bear­ing tech­nol­ogy.

And don’t even start me on com­pul­sory soft­ware up­grades to match ‘im­proved’ op­er­at­ing sys­tems.

Tech­nol­ogy is meant to serve us, not con­trol us. With a push to in­clude speed lim­iters in all new ve­hi­cles ( Wheels, May), one suspects that the boffins be­hind this may be mo­torists, but they are not driv­ers.

The art of suc­cess­ful and safe driv­ing re­quires con­stant judge­ment calls – par­tic­u­larly in an­tic­i­pat­ing and re­spond­ing to un­char­ac­ter­is­tic or un­pre­dictable ma­noeu­vres by other driv­ers – and does not need any of those re­sponses ar­ti­fi­cially ham­strung. Think of that, next time you have to sud­denly jab the ac­cel­er­a­tor pedal to get out of the way of a lane-changer or an over­taker who hasn’t seen you, and imag­ine the out­come if “com­puter says no”.

Mark Wal­land, Morn­ing­ton, Vic

We’re in your cor­ner on this one, Mark. Ex­ces­sive in­ter­ven­tion from manda­tory gov­ern­ing sys­tems has real po­ten­tial to im­pact driv­ing free­dom – Ed

“THE ART OF SAFE DRIV­ING RE­QUIRES CON­STANT JUDGE­MENT CALLS

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