30 April 2010
The Nanny State?
I have a simple car but it has a few things which really annoy me. The worst is that if I park the car on a summers day, I like to have the door open (if it is in a safe place to do that of course). The problem is the car beeps constantly to let me to know the key is in the ignition. I can't turn the beep off so the key has to be removed. Fine as this stops me accidentally locking my keys inside. But if I want to listen to the audio system, the key must be engaged. So I cannot listen to music with any door open on the car. If the beep would stop after ten beeps, I would be happy. But this beep goes on until either the polar caps melt or the battery runs out, whichever comes first. I would rather not have the beep as I lock the car remotely anyway and I must have the key in hand to do so. They are trying to nanny me and I don't like it.
So where next. There are many safety features that are and will be very sensible. However, I can't help but think that one day, we will get into a car, tell it in some way where we are going, and the rest will be auto pilot. The rationale to this will be that it will be safer, have traffic flowing better and there will be no need for drivers licenses. We will arrive at the end of a long journey relaxed. Ahhhh. I must say the end of road hogs, of which NZ had an a disproportionate number, has appeal too. I really see a time of the driverless car. The road toll, which amounts to millions around the world each year, will be virtually eliminated. It is hard not to see that as a plus. Still, there is something rewarding about driving a car. I would rather see more put into driver education, done over the life of the driver, not just when you get a licence.
The bottom line: The nanny state is here to look after us, so relax.