Requiring What’s Already Standard . . .

  • June 2, 2023

The federal “safety” apparat intends to mandate – that word, again – that all new cars be fitted with automatic emergency braking “technology” within a few years from now, if not sooner. The apparat says it is merely considering mandating but that is of a piece with the federal apparat asking you to do something – by which of course is meant you will do something.

Like wear the “mask” that was mandated.

One might ask the impertinent question: Where in the Constitution does the federal apparat get the authority to mandate “safety”? Everyone knows the answer to that question, which was given some 20 years ago by the then-figurehead of the federal apparat, George W. Bush, who told us the Constitution is “just a goddamned piece of paper.”

He was right, of course.

If he had been wrong, the Constitution would have prevented him from waging war without a congressional declaration, among other things.

Back to this business of mandating automatic emergency braking, which is a “technology” that applies the brakes when the car thinks it needs to stop. More precisely, when the car’s programming think it’s necessary to stop. This can and does occur when there is no necessary reason to stop, just the same as the “technology” that tries to force you back into your travel lane when you are trying to steer out of it.

The “technology” will brake when the car ahead of you slows – as to turn off the road, which its driver is signaling his intention to do. You can see that the car will be out of your way long before you get to where it is now, but the car’s programming does not compute this; it only “sees” the car ahead and in your putative way – and applies the brakes, to prevent you from hitting what’s no longer there.

The same “technology” sometimes will do the same – when it mistakes a berm in the curve ahead for you about to drive into something. It is not unheard of for the car to just hit the brakes for no apparent reason at all. I test drive new cars each week and this has already happened to me. Lucky for me, there was no one coming up behind me when the car decided to slow to a stop in the middle of the road for no apparent reason.

But that is neither here nor there – as regards the pending mandating of this “technology,” which is already standard equipment in probably nine out of ten new cars, another thing I can attest to as someone who test drives new cars each week.

I cannot recall a single one over the past two years that did not come standard with a suite of “advanced driver assistance technology,” including automatic emergency braking – which goes by various names, including Brake Assistance, Advanced (it is always “advanced” when it comes this “technology”) Collision Avoidance and other such names for the same thing. Along with Lane Keep Assist, Lane Departure Mitigation – and so on.

Plus, more.

Including “pedestrian avoidance technology.”

And there is no opting out – never mind the fact that many would, if they could. But they cannot, without opting out of buying a new car. This interestingly suggestive – and not merely in the manner of suggestive selling, the obnoxious practice of pushing something on you that you didn’t ask for pioneered, apparently, by McDonald’s. As in, would you like fries with that?

As in – no, or I would have ordered them.

This is worse, of course, because no one’s suggesting anything. And it’s not just the federal “safety” apparat, either. It is the car companies, who are becoming adjuncts of the apparat, if they are not already entirely that. They no longer fight the regs.

They anticipate them.

And that brings up the really interesting about all this “advanced driver assistance technology.” The fact that it is already included in most new cars anticipates the mandates – but also more than that.

It lets us know what will be mandated next.

Most of which is already here, too.

Can you guess?

It is the soon-to-be-mandatory driverless car, in the sense that you won’t be the one driving it. Not outside the parameters established by the programming, at any rate. It will “assist” you to not drive any faster – any more aggressively – than the programming allows. Instead of passing slow-moving, left-lane-dawdling traffic, you will be among the dawdling. It will not allow you to change lanes without signaling first. It will make you come to a complete stop at every stop sign, irrespective of the need to do that (beyond the performance of mindless obedience to signage).

There will be no “speeding”- and not much driving, either. Plus, you will eat ze bugs.

This is what they have in mind and it is why they are putting it in cars, irrespective of demand for it and even before the apparat demands it.

The expectation is that people will get used to it – as they have to having to spread their legs in order to be allowed to fly. As they wore a “mask” to “stop the spread.”

It’s all of a piece – and until people get the picture, there won’t be any stopping it.

. . .

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