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Revhead Ramblings: Do our cars feature too much technology

Scrolling through Twitter the other day, I saw a promoted post. It was for a phone, not a Samsung or iPhone, this was for a phone reminiscent of the early noughties technology.

No touchscreen, no internet and no camera. Simply the ability to call and text. It’s supposedly there to give us only the most basic forms of communication and to encourage more time absorbing the world and speaking to people face to face.

Back to Basics

These back to basic phones seem like a good idea in fairness, I’m guilty of spending far too much time on my phone, from social media to shopping. Technology distracts us massively and makes us less productive as a result, with our phones being stripped of unnecessary functions, could our cars be next? With each new model we’re greeted with more and more technology, from fancy lights to endless customisable displays; how much do we really need it all though?

Infotainment Screens

We were banned from using phones whilst driving because they were too distracting, yet Apple CarPlay is an option on most new cars that offers the same features we’d banned? Making a move to touchscreen infotainment systems is convenient, however when all of our cars functions are controlled via one screen, tapping through menu after menu to change the fan speed is a recipe for disaster!

Distracting Safety Systems

Obviously staring at a screen is distracting and makes us less attentive to the road, but what about the systems we don’t see? The likes of automatic braking and lane keep assist come as standard on a large proportion of cars now, these features can prevent potentially fatal accidents but are they making us worse drivers?

By knowing these systems are there, we let our guard down on the road, taking more risks and paying less attention. The issue is, these systems aren’t fool proof, they’re there to aid drivers, not do it for them.

Is No Technology The Answer?

Could completely ridding our cars of technology be the answer then? When you look at someone driving a Caterham, I doubt your first thought is ‘I bet they wish they had memory seats’ instead you’ll be green with envy as they fly past you with a grin reaching ear to ear.

Obviously not every car can be thrashed like a Caterham and as such warrant comfortable extras like heated seats and automatic wipers, but finding a balance is key, driver involvement is crucial, not only for safety reasons but also to keep the thrill of driving alive.

To ensure you don’t miss out on any of Alex’s ‘Revhead Ramblings‘ be sure to follow him on Twitter at @AlexClickDealer!

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