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Madness on wheels

作者:解赇    发布时间:2019-03-07 03:10:00    

Car manufacturers are forever introducing snazzy new features, but whoever came up with the idea of Internet access for drivers deserves a lecture on road safety. The offenders are General Motors’ Net car (www.wired.com/news/news/business/story/21204.html) and Vauxhall’s Omega V8.com (www.guardianunlimited.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,3896544,00.html). Both are replete with gadgets such as night vision head-up displays and voice activation to allow “safe” Internet access while driving. Scott McNealy, chief executive of Sun Microsystems, has been enlisted by General Motors to boost support for the concept. He apparently believes that cars are little more than browsers with tyres, and envisions the Net car using the hitherto wasted time spent stuck in traffic to bombard drivers with adverts. But why on earth would anyone want to subject themselves to such an assault? One website you might want to visit while you’re cruising the streets is the wonderfully paranoid Scotti School of Defensive Driving (www.ssdd.com). After all, with so many Netheads out there the streets won’t be safe. “Although drivers must be trained never to stop a car under any conditions, there may be a time when stopping is unavoidable,” it says. Presumably, it means petrol stations and traffic lights. Meanwhile, John Coyne, mayor of Brooklyn, Ohio, and a self-appointed guardian of road safety, has vowed to put a stop to “surfing cars”. Coyne was the first to introduce compulsory seat belt laws in an American city, and now plans legislation to curb mobile phone use while driving (www.newsnet5.com/news/stories/news-990310-223048.html). He’ll be a formidable adversary, and he has certainly got a point. According to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine (vol 336, p 453), using a phone while driving leads to a fourfold increase in your chances of having an accident. So just imagine what mobile surfing could do. More on these topics:

 

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