9 June 2014

Going beyond already too much

This writer has been getting steadily more uneasy about the proliferation of distractions in and around the dashboard and controls of our cars, writes Brian Byrne.

Well, folks, it's not going to get better. Now, Toyota and Panasonic are showcasing a prototype system by which you'll not just be managing your car from the driver's seat, but also your home.

The idea is that if you've forgotten to turn on the washing machine, or not turned off the cooker or the heating, you can fix things up remotely by buttons (more buttons) on your steering wheel or centre screen.

It's a cloud-based telematics service that the companies claim 'will make life easier and less stressful' by letting people keep tabs on and operate their home appliances from the wheel of their car.

Look, I think already it's gone beyond 'whoa' time. Now we need to emergency crash this wholesale idiocy into a safety barrier before it all starts crashing into other cars and people.

All for the sake of having a bit more technology in your offering than the competitor has. Look, it's really simple. When you get behind the wheel of a car, your job is to drive that car, safely and with full attention.

Wondering about which channel to set the TV to record on, from the middle of moving traffic, is not concentrating on the car, the road, and all the other things that are part of getting your journey done safely.

Call me a crank, if you like. But, crankily or not, it just isn't right.