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Is it Safe?

On today's newspaper there is the news that the EU has a plan to introduce a bunch of directives, starting in 2022 (in 3 years), that dicates that all new sold cars in EU will have to be equipped with "safety devices".

There are things like "auto-breaking" systems that "read the maximum speed on the road" and stop the vehicle to go faster (basically ignoring what the driver does), sensor that check the trajectory of the car and eventually either "yell" at the driver or correct it automatically, devices to stop the use of phones in the car, locks that check the alchool level of the driver and prevent drink & drive scenario and, lastly, "black boxes" that record everything that happens in the car.

This basically means that new cars will cost more (that ain't new) but will they also be "safer"? What the heck does "safe" means in this case?

A lot of those gizmos are already available on expensive models as extra (speed sensor at the moment only inform you that you're speeding, they do not block you to do so... not yet), so we're not talking about sci-fi, but the discussion should be focused on what those things actually do to improve the safety of the vehicle, and not if they should be mandatory or not.

We all agree, I think, that when vehicles crashes against something, they don't do it "on their own", with some weird exceptions, when they crash they do it because the driver wasn't actually "driving" or he was doing it with... the wrong part of his body.

As I said some time ago, the problem with cars is that people (in large part) can't really drive and there is no amount of "tinkering" around that will solve that problem. Now, since the "smart cars" still looks like retarded, we're going with the latest round of tinkering, this time to try to be sure that the meatbag behind the wheel is actually awake and looking at what happens in front and around and not so much in his phone (and I write this after having some woman putting on her make-up using the phone as a mirror... while going 100Kph on the motoray).

Now, I'm always for making something "safer", but I'm kinda sceptic when the "solutions" are "let's put more stuff on it and completly ignore what the problem actually is".

What is going to happen? Well, all these regulation will have to be incorporated into laws by the various government, and I expect a big-ass fight, especially about the "black boxes", but assuming that about half of them will go through, what is going to happen for sure is that cars will be more expensive. That is going to make the used market also more expensive and will depress the normal market because peoples are going to change auto less often. But as "safety"? I don't think there will be any changes.

The great majority of these "gizoms" are based on the idea that the vehicle will be able to "read" signs and "see" the road, but we (humans) know very well that, in many cases, the signs aren't there or are very hard to read and the condition of the road are crap. All that stuff maybe works fine in the lab or on a test track, environment that are under perfect condition, but when they are moved to the real world, things aren't that good. The proof is the number of problems that Tesla's "autopilot" is running into.

So? Well, from my point of view, I think that the various government will have to, sooner or later, accept the reality: cars will have to go, being replaced by a better/cheaper public transport and a general shift in the way we live and work. It ain't 800 no more, when thousands of workers had to go en-masse in factories, today a lot of peoples can happily keep working from their own houses with the same results (or better). Sure, there will always be peoples that need to move and they will use personal or public transportation, being it because of practicality or requirements or just because they can. But the great majority will use private vehicle a lot less.

Me? I got a new motorcycle (my car is momentarily used by my neighbor).

Davide Bianchi
28/03/2019 09:45

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