I had been driving a 2011 Ford Escape for the last few years. It was a great little SUV, but I had over 108,000 miles on it and it was time for an upgrade. I test drove a few different vehicles last week including the Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson and the Kia Sportage. I wanted an SUV but not a large one.
It had been a while since I test drove a car. I felt like it was a new world with all these safety features in front of me. Adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind spot detection, rear-view cameras the size of my iPad... it was overwhelming. When the salesman in the passenger seat of the Honda told me to take my hands off the wheel as I entered the 215 expressway, I did a double take and immediately said, "that's okay." He encouraged me to take my hands off the wheel so that I could experience the lane keep assist. Okay, I thought, I'll give it a go. I reluctantly put my hands in my lap and as the car started to veer towards the line on the left, the car maneuvered itself back into the center of the two lines and beeped loudly to warn me of the mistake I'd made. It occurred to me, I was no longer in control of this car. It was in control of my safety and it was a strange feeling. Now that I've been driving my Kia Sportage for a week and I'm becoming more familiar with these safety features I'm coming to terms with the fact the car works for me. It's reason for existence is to keep me and my passengers safe. If I make the mistake of trying to change lanes without putting my turn signal on, it forces me back into my lane. It forces me to be a good, safe driver. Imagine that! If I put my turn signal on then try to change lanes, the car alerts me if there is a car in my blind spot, before I even have a chance to move and potentially crash. My vehicle didn't come with the Automatic Emergency Braking, but I now wish it did. If a car fitted with AEB senses a potential collision, and the driver does not react in time, then the car will start braking for you. Data has shown that rear-end collisions fall by 50% on vehicles with AEB. This is a game changer. I will admit that technology has scared me in the past. I have the vision in my head that all this advancement is going to lead to our planet being over run by robots, and perhaps that may still happen, but this new purchase has opened my eyes. Technology is good. It's literally creating a safer driving environment us. I highly encourage you to test drive any new vehicle, if you don't already own one, just to see what is out there.