Monday, May 13, 2013

Technology...and Keyless Start

Okay. I'm going to diverge from crafts and garden discussions to discuss technology.
I recently went on a business trip and received a brand new rental car. The car came with a keyless start feature.
I was unprepared for this new advance in technology. My first reaction was, "Where does the key go?" Thankfully the car told me.  The display said press the brake pedal and push the start button. It worked the first time.
However, at lunch, I was dismayed to return to the car, and, as I sat in the car, keys in hand,  the display read, "cannot detect the presence of keys."
Now, how does this affect me? Well ladies and gentlemen, it should not be a surprise that when the car cannot detect the presence of the keys, it does not start. At. All.
I may be older... but I appreciate the numerous technological advances in my life. This, however, is a problem. When I put a key in a car I expect to crank the engine and go somewhere. I do not expect the car to hold me hostage due to its technological failure. At some point, I think, we need to use some common sense in applying these advances to every single item we manufacture. Or, a la Orwell, these items will control us.
What if I had been in a bad neighborhood? What if someone was holding a gun at my window similar to what happened to my mother at a convention center?  She bravely started the car and drove off and lived to tell the tale. If I had been in a similar situation, and the vehicle had balked at starting without detecting the key, I would have died in this fancy new car with a fancy new keyless start.
So, car designers need to re-think the keyless start and apply some common sense to ensure that technology doesn't control us and that our loved ones have the opportunity to be safe.

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