Yeah, Too Quiet
A new report from Brunel University's Driving Research Laboratory [UK] suggests that older cars provide more safety-enhancing sensory feedback than new cars, and that's a bad thing. "Cars provide timely ‘informal chatter’ such as engine noise and road noise, which keeps us attentive and informed of our situation on the road," posits the appropriately named Dr. Guy Walker. "If this feedback is removed through car design innovations, the whole nature of driving could change completely, potentially putting lives at risk.” Yes, well, the methodology used to reach this more-is-less conclusion involved just ten drivers using their own vehicles. "Drivers provided a concurrent verbal commentary as they drove around a defined 14 mile on-road test route, from motorways to residential streets. Analysis of the verbal commentary provided over sixteen thousand data points which were analysed in reference to the concept of situational awareness (SA)." Perhaps an analysis of the relative accident rates of an old S-class vs. a new model would have provided more relevant data. Or not.
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