Richard Glover hosts the “Drive” show on ABC Sydney and writes an occasional opinion piece for the Sydney Morning Herald; the closest comparison is CBC Vancouver’s Stephen Quinn. An excerpt from a recent column:
The latest attempt to deskill the human race comes courtesy of the “tyre pressure monitoring system” now built into many cars. In Britain, it’s been compulsory in all new cars sold since 2014, with the result that people no longer know how to check their own tyre pressure. The only problem: the systems routinely fail, with the result that four in 10 cars in the UK, according to a study out this week, have at least one dangerously underinflated tyre.
At same time, people put such faith in their sat-nav systems that motorists are routinely ending up in rivers and even oceans. They are, it seems, more likely to believe the view on their phone-screen than the view out their windscreen.
Reading both stories this week, a picture does form of the British motoring public – one moment veering into oncoming traffic on the M1, the next hurling themselves off the pier at Brighton. They are, I fear, taking Brexit a bit too literally.
I also fear that the machines are up to something. Each day they become a little smarter; each day, we become a little dumber.
With the latest-model cars, you no longer need to reverse park; the vehicle does it for you. Driving itself, of course, will be outsourced soon. No one even needs to cook: Google this week unveiled Google Home, a personal assistant that sits in the corner of your room, quietly learning your habits: the barked command “get me food,” will result in your preferred take-away meal arriving soon after.
Given time, Google Home will surely be able to respond to other plaintive inquiries, such as: “how do you spell bourgeoisie?” And “why can’t I ever seem to get a girlfriend?”