If you read this website regularly, browse automobiles online, or have taken a trip to the dealership within the last couple of years, you’ve probably noticed the countless names applied to driver assistance systems appearing in new cars. It’s the result of automakers wanting proprietary names for these features that they think sound catchy.
Not everyone is a fan. The American Automobile Association (AAA) doesn’t feel that “having twenty unique names for adaptive cruise control and nineteen different names for lane keeping assistance” helps consumers make informed decisions.
According to its own research, AAA claims that advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) were available on 92.7 percent of new vehicles on sale in the United States as of May 2018. That makes them next to impossible for consumers to avoid. Thus, the motor club group feels it’s time for automakers to standardize their naming strategies — if for no other reason than to help preserve our sanity.
One of my biggest pet peeves is the very existence of stop-start systems in modern vehicles. In theory, they’re intended to improve fuel economy by shutting down the engine while the car is stationary — when you’re effectively getting zero miles per gallon. In practice, they’re more of a nuisance than anything else. Every time I’m in a car that’s unfamiliar to me and the system shuts down the engine at a stop light, there is a fraction of a second where I assume something has gone terribly wrong and my stomach drops out of my body and onto the seat. Maybe I’ve just driven too many junkers but the sensation is always unsettling to a point where I have to deactivate the system to maintain peace of mind.
I am also fairly confident that repeatedly cycling your engine in stop-and-go traffic isn’t great for the crankshaft and a host of other components, even if the manufacturer is trying its utmost to mitigate the issue. But I’m aware that some people don’t mind their vehicle becoming a jittery, broken-feeling mess in an urban environment so long as it saves them some fuel in the long run. Unfortunately, that information hasn’t made me hate it any less.
What about you? Is stop-start technology the bane of your driving existence or a necessary evil in the war on emissions?
Anthony Levandowski, the man at the nucleus of Alphabet Inc.’s intellectual property lawsuit against Uber Technologies, has abandoned his position as the team lead for the firm’s autonomous vehicle development.
Uber explained that Levandowski’s new role is less critical and has no authority over the company’s LIDAR technology, which he is accused of stealing from Alphabet’s Waymo when it was still part of Google. Since the lawsuit, Uber has done everything possible to distance itself from the man without outright firing him.