With the news of automatic braking assist become a standard “safety” feature for all cars by 2022 and just today Motortrend is reporting that Toyota will have automatic braking on nearly all of their models by 2017 with the exception of the Toyota 4runner, Lexus GX, and more importantly, the 86.
When I first heard about this the first thought that came to my mind was that this could possibly cause some accidents by the car slamming on brakes when not absolutely necessary with sudden braking resulting in someone rear ending you. (obviously, as an engineer myself, engineers think about these things when designing these systems, but just my first thought) It could also open the door for people being more negligent (as many of you I’m sure have seen this form of negligence) especially in low speed and high traffic environments, conceding that their car will just stop for them.
Then my 2nd thought was, is this defeatable? (i.e. Can we disable it like traction control, stability control, etc.?) If it isn’t defeatable, how would a track day or an autocross go down when the system senses you’re close to a cone (whether you’ll hit it or not) Imagine autocrossing and you’re going through the slalom and your car suddenly slams on brakes when detecting a cone, I can’t imagine any good coming out of that.
If it is possible to turn it off, I’d imagine this would open doors for more law suits if it was found someone caused a bad accident because they had it disabled., but then again I guess the same could be said for traciton/stability controls. These are just my thoughts/concerns on this automatic braking stuff, which I’m sure the Jalopnik writers will write about in the future, but what about you guys?
Do you think these are legitimate concerns? I think we are taking the driver out of the equation more and more and I don’t think that’s the right thing to do, but then again, as a 21 year old, I’ve come to the conclusion that in my lifetime I may see a ban or severe limitation of human drivers on public roads with the advent of autonomous cars... but that’s an entirely different discussion for a different day.