A hit 2005 Carrie Underwood country song, “Jesus Take the Wheel,” needs to be rewritten to say GM, Ford, Chrysler, VW, BMW, Honda, Mercedes, Subaru or Toyota take the wheel because of all of the technological advances being built into new cars.
Some models already relieve motorists of that distasteful parallel parking chore. Many have cameras in the back that enable people to see in what had been blind spots.
Cars irritate people with increasingly urgent buzzes and dings to get everyone to wear seat belts.
A lot of cars automatically lock all doors when the car reaches a certain speed. Some also are equipped with seats that vibrate harshly to warn drivers when they are about to hit an object.
Now the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to get vehicle manufacturers to add two kinds of automatic emergency braking systems in all new automobiles. One plan calls for crash-imminent braking, which stops a automobile if sensors pick up a possible wreck.
The other calls for dynamic braking, which adds force to the brakes if a driver isn’t pushing down hard enough to prevent a crash.
We’re definitely on the road to fully automated cars, where drivers and passengers will be free to read the newspaper, text, check email or just sleep on commutes.