Staying Within The Lines

So between the time I last wrote about autonomous cars and now, my wife and I have upgraded one of our vehicles to include some more advanced features (ok, it’s her car!).  She decided on the 2018 Honda CR-V and it has features I have not used before, such as adaptive cruise control (ACC), and lane keep assist (LKA).  The former is basically cruise control that can automatically slow down if a car slows down or even stops in front of you, then resume speed when there is no vehicle in front.  Lane keep assist does what it says.  If it can see the lines on the road, it will somewhat stay within that lane.  Or, if you begin to drift out of your lane it can nudge you back in the right direction (it will also nudge the wheel a bit if it realizes you don’t have your hands on it for a few seconds!).

Ok, so it’s not fully autonomous, but it really does make longer drives much more relaxing.  And not relaxing in that I no longer have to pay attention, but once you get used to the features, you get peace of mind.  Something especially important when you have your family along on the ride.  Personally, I felt much less mental fatigue driving on our longer road trips, and generally more confident in my ability to enjoy a peak at some of the vistas throughout the drive.  

The other bonus feature this car has is the ability to use Apple Car Play and Android Auto.  The downside…well, at least for Android Auto, is there are still issues…  My wife is able to get her Pixel 2 XL working, but mine, not so much.  I still haven’t determined if it’s software, or hardware, but the fact that it’s not a foolproof setup means it’s still not fully fleshed out.  Android Auto still requires bluetooth AND a cable for full features.  And bouncing between 2 or more phones still feels clumsy.  

Look, I love my tech…and I’m willing to troubleshoot and deal with a few bugs here and there, but it just won’t fly with most of the public.  Especially in a car, where safety is above and beyond the most important aspect.  Nobody should be fiddling with connections or settings while driving.  Overall though, I’m really happy with our new garage addition.  I’m still going to hold onto my rough and tough Honda Element for all our Ikea transporting, and dirty outdoorsing adventures, but I’m already becoming dependent on the AI smarts being built into the new metal caravans on the road.

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