1. Automatic car lights/windscreen wipers
The amount of people I see at night who forget to switch on their lights is too damn high. That’s why car makers have taken it upon themselves to cater for the idiot driver by making the car switch on its own lights when the sun goes down. The same technology is used for windscreen wipers because, let’s face it, there are people who will forget about switching those on too…
2. Automatic braking
Auto braking is still a fairly new technology that automatically deploys the anchors at speeds typically under 20mph. The system is designed for traffic conditions where people lose concentration/text their friend Britney and crash into the car in front of them.
Instead of auto braking, it’d be great if people would, you know, concentrate a little harder/not text their friend Britney.
3. Keyless entry
Some people can’t help but drop things and knock stuff over all the time. So to make their driving lives easier, some cars now start and run without the need of a key being pushed in and turned. The fob simply stays in his or her pocket and isn’t messed with or lost.
4. Door protectors
This is actually a cool piece of tech commonly found on the Ford Focus. When the car’s door is opened, a clever, flip-out bit of plastic shoots out to protect the edge of the door from hitting another and chipping off paint. Every car should have one.
5. Automatic doors and boots
Closing a door or a boot/trunk can be troublesome for a number of reasons, including being too weak or simply too damn rich to care. That’s why many high-end cars do the closing and opening for you, meaning that you have time to watch the car do something you’re perfectly capable of.
Of course, the systems do have their advantages for people carrying lots of stuff or for disabled people who might not be able to reach with ease. But for everybody else, this is just a gimmick.
6. Lane assist
Gone are the days of driving a car between the white lines using your eyes. These days, we have systems like ‘Lane Departure’ that warns us by means of vibration or noise that we’ve strayed too far. Some systems also counter-steer automatically, which is one of the most off-putting things you’ll ever experience if you’ve not come across it before.
7. Safety systems
Traction control and ABS systems save lives every day. They’re so good, in fact, that inexperienced drivers can go full force on the throttle without being killed instantly. Even if these people do crash, today’s incredible safety cells and rigidi structural integrity mean that the chances are incresingly good that they’ll walk away with nothing more than a bruised ego and torn cap.
8. Parking sensors
Some people have zero spatial awareness which means that parking is as difficult as proving life after death. To help matters, many cars come with reverse parking sensors (and cameras) as standard, meaning that we don’t have to even turn around anymore. Just feed it in and wait for the beep.
9. Radar-guided cruise control
Cruise control demands some level of concentration, but it is by no means idiot proof. That’s where radar-guided cruise control comes in. This system speeds the car up and slows the car down based on activity in front. It’s so good, in fact, that you can use it in traffic. This is not advised, however.
10. Drivers who actually know how to handle a car
The main thing that makes our driving lives idiot proof is other drivers who actually know how to handle a car. Take the weekends for example: on these two days, people who have no sense and who possess no grasp of driving etiquette descend on our roads like a plague and make a nuisance of themselves. It’s then down to people like us (petrolheads) to react quickly to their stupidity, bad moves and lack of indicating!