Monday, August 06, 2007

I'm Sorry Michael; I'm Afraid I Can't Do That

Nissan is preparing to market a car that will automatically ease off the gas if it detects a collision coming, and then brake rapidly if you respond:

Some Nissan cars will soon come with a gas pedal that lifts to warn of possible collisions, while the cars will automatically stop if drivers take their foot off the accelerator in response to the warning.

The technology combines radar sensors and a computer system to assess a car's speed and the distance to a vehicle in front, Nissan Motor Co. said Monday. Cars with the new safety features will be available this year in Japan, and next year in the U.S...

Nissan also showed an experimental system that measures alcohol levels in a driver's sweat from sensors in the gearshift. The system stops short of locking the ignition but issues a warning in an electronic voice.
This may seem a silly observation, but I wonder how the legal issues will resolve themselves. If your car fails to detect a collision, then is the manufacturer liable? Or if your car fails to detect that you're driving drunk, to what degree is Nissan at fault?

If only they could come up with a way to determine if you were about to commit a murder...

1 comment:

Peddler's Brother said...

I hope speeding up wouldn't save your ass. Maybe sensors in the blind spot would be in order, because the system they describe doesn't seem to be smart enough to judge when someone is trying to avoid getting t-boned or rear-ended.