Is the so-called “smart car” making us less intelligent drivers? I say yes. Back when cars were first mass-produced for the public, they were complicated machines. You had to crank them to start them, be able to identify all of the fluids, let them warm up and give yourself plenty of time to slow down. Now, a lot of people are awaiting self-driving cars as if we are living in the cartoon world of The Jetsons.
Why would technology make us less intelligent? The reason is we become dependent on the technology. Headlights that turn on for you, wipers that turn on for you are both things you had to be consciously aware of, that you needed to turn on, but now you don’t. Back up sensors and cameras take away the feel of knowing your car and when you get into another car without this technology, parking itself might be more difficult.
With automated cruise control, emails to tell you when your car needs service and many other features to reduce our thinking, it will amount to a new generation of drivers who will only know how to open their door and sit. Sooner or later there might not even be a “Drivers door” to open. If you put me in a 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner, I’d be more than happy to change my driving style to drive the car properly. Someone who owns a smart car probably wouldn’t even know what to do with themselves in such a car. More the benefit to me, I guess.