I get it, people don't want to get in wrecks and look for ways around them. That's why we have stuff in new vehicles like the radar sensors that enable adaptive cruise control and automatic braking, and lane departure and blind spot monitoring. It seems to me that this year in particular, there has been more technology researched, released, and tested than ever before; all trending towards self driving cars (picture the Johnny-cab from Total Recall).
But at what point do you think the government will have gone too far? I am sure I will get responses ranging from "TPMS was already too far" to "I wouldn't mind a self driving vehicle." I think there is a good compromise between technology and simplicity, but it is getting to the point of being ridiculous.
Here is my take: I do not oppose this technology wholesale, however I do oppose it being government mandated. I believe these technologies are crutches for idiots who are too distracted by their phones to pay attention to driving, or drunks who do indeed cause a lot of accidents. Neither of these cases warrants a federal mandate IMHO because they are both preventable, these technologies just encourage irresponsibility and assist people in getting away with it.
Additionally, what will be the base price of vehicles in the future? I remember as a kid you could get the cheapest cars for under $10,000 and a decently equipped compact under $20k. In this context, it seems that within the past decade or so $30,000 has become the new $20,000 as a target point for budgeting for a vehicle; even accounting for inflation the price of vehicles has skyrocketed. This is largely due to the increased amount of technology, and while I am not opposed to its availability for those willing and able to pay for it, I am opposed to making people pay for it on even the most basic of models. Even in nominal terms, how many of you ever thought that there would be pickups costing $70,000, especially some of you older guys-and some of you may have bought such trucks. I remember when dad bought his Ram for $27-$28,000, it was the most he'd ever paid for a vehicle in his life and he had some second thoughts (this was a well equipped SLT in 2009). Fast forward to the present and the least I've paid for a vehicle was $27,500-and it was a used base model Durango which, ironically does not have blind spot warning or any of this yet-to be mandated technology; though by standards of a decade ago it would rival top trim vehicles in options. I would love to get a Challenger as a 3rd vehicle someday, but have decided that I will probably just get a Ramcharger because with the way prices are trending I will never be able to afford a Challenger as prices rise.
It seems to me that this will eventually result in the federal mandate of self driving cars, at which point 1) vehicles will become no more than an appliance and 2) private vehicle ownership will come to an end. Why own a car if you are just using it to travel to a pre-programmed destination? Why create unnecessary emissions by taking your own car when there are as many people going to your destination as there are seats in the car?
All-electric vehicles will not replace ICEs for the for the foreseeable future because the only way to generate the amount of electricity required to power everyone's vehicular transportation requirements is through nuclear power. However the same proponents of all electric vehicles are the same ones promoting solar, wind, and other low-yield means of energy production; and they are generally opposed to nuclear energy despite the fact that it is actually very clean. Until these people can reconcile their philosophical dichotomy, private ownership of all electric vehicles will be impossible on the scale it is today. I think this will lead the government to outlaw or tax beyond the means of the majority, vehicles powered by "unclean" fuels, also leading to self driving, public transportation cars for most of us. Exceptions may be made for commercial trucks that need to haul long distances until battery technology enables them to drive as far as necessary with such heavy loads and without a recharge.
I did not mean to make this too political, only to voice my thoughts.