I am terrified as well when I see drivers who are obviously texting, checking email, applying makeup and all sorts of other things behind the wheel. While I applaud the advent of vision to help make us all safer drivers, we at the same time need to find better ways to discourage this kind of distracted behavior to begin with.
I agree. In a future blog post, I'll discuss systems that assess the driver's attention and fatigue, some of which use vision (for example, to track where the driver is looking). If it were up to me, an electric shock would be administered through the seat if the driver looks away from the road for more than a second or two while the vehicle is in motion. :-)
Personally, I'm pleased that advances in technology are making driving safer. I know there are those who complain about the costs being added to vehicles by safety mandates and I understand that that can create problems. But to me the improvements in safety far outweigh the added cost. Case in point: vehicle related fatalities in the U.S. have been on a downward trend for several years (altough they rose slightly in 2012).
Call me old fashioned ("You're old fashioned!!!) but I don't like the direction this road is heading. Maybe it's because the fondest memories I have are of setting my own course on the open roads of summer, relying on my own keen senses to gauge the beauty and cruelty of the world around me. Instead, soon we'll have a car that scolds me for driving too fast, taking a turn too tightly, or maybe just stealing a kiss as the sun sets in the west. ("No kissing!!" Zap!!)
What next, machines that force you to exercise, tell you to put down that corndog, or scold you for watching crappy TV shows?
Gimme map full of blue-lines and a 68 Camaro ragtop and I'll find my own way.
But I know what you mean. I happened to move into a new apartment equipped with talking elevators, whose job seems to be announcing "going up" or "going down" every time when I step inside. I can't shut them up.
Why is this elevator talking to me? (but of course, if I am visually impaired, I am sure I would feel different about this.)
The challenge for designers of any "automated" system is to truly understand what's necessary (rather than nice-to-have features), and make sure to give options and flexibility for users to turn it off.
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