Sometimes, it’s of the utmost importance that we lift our heads to take notice of what’s happening around us.
I’m sure that most of you who have been following the news recently will have read about a recent proposal from the European Transport Safety Council, and their recommendation to equip all new vehicles from 2024 with stringent speed limiter systems. The proposed limiters can be overridden according to the proposal, but will continue to sound a warning until your speed returns to at or below the posted limit.
For me, this wasn’t the most worrying point of these proposals, but rather the mention of mandatory fitting of data loggers also to every car being manufactured from the same point in time. I’ve written briefly about this before, but cars and motorcycles are amongst the last methods of transportation which offer us ultimate freedom. You don’t need permission from anyone, you can just get in your car or on your bike and travel anywhere you want, at any time.
But, for how much longer?
I would think that there are those in power who see cars as an archaic form of transportation, and would much rather we commuted in driverless pods that are publicly shared, but those raise their own questions, too. What if your pod decides that to bring you to a convenience store instead of the one you requested? What if it decides not to bring you at all?
Perhaps there’s the option of just not buying a new car in years to come, but what happens when rules & regulations evolve to prohibit any car without these systems fitted from legally using the roads? What happens when insurance companies refuse to insure cars without Intelligent Speed Assistance and data-logging?
While I would be amongst the first to welcome any common sense measures to reduce road fatalities, I don’t think these are the solution. On the contrary, I think these promote inattentive and distracted driving, where users will just let the computers figure it out and go back to whatever they were looking at on their smartphones.
You can already see countless examples of this online with people who are incapable of using systems like Tesla’s ‘Autopilot’ in the correct manner; either incorrectly assuming that it represents Level 5 autonomy or knowingly deciding to not give their full attention to the road ahead against the manufacturer’s recommendations.
This is a very strange time to be an automotive enthusiast, and it’s so important that we all pay attention to what’s going on around us. This isn’t the time to bury your head in the sand and to think that this isn’t your battle. It very much is.
Regardless of your preferences or how you define your own automotive tastes, it’s irrelevant. We’re a relatively small community – one which some would argue is in decline – so we need to be together on matters like these.
I don’t want to be at retirement age thinking of the good old days where we could do what we wanted and when we wanted as nothing but a distant memory. I want to be in my last days having contributed something towards an exciting future for car culture for the next generation.
Because for everything we’ve seen so far on Speedhunters, there is still a lot more to come…