GM to Produce Car That Detects Driver Distraction

Do you get annoyed with cars when they beep at you until you put your seatbelt on? Well, you should probably avoid buying GM cars for a while—as in never again. As if it weren’t bad enough that GM cars might mysteriously stall out on the highway due to a faulty ignition switch, now GM cars are going to tell you whether or not you are driving well.

GM is testing new technology that detects the direction drivers are looking and whether their blinking intervals indicate mental engagement. I don’t know exactly what that would mean for you if you didn’t cut the mustard. Perhaps the car would beep at you, or ask you a question: “Are you tired, [Insert Name]? Perhaps you should stop at the next Rest Area.” Or “You seem distracted. Is something on your mind? Do you want to talk about it?”

I absolutely hate this idea. The fact that GM is basically government owned sheds an odd light on all of this biometric research. GM says these sensors won’t actually store information, for now, but what’s to keep these sensors from becoming just another source of information for the civil government, and other corporate interests, eventually? Apparently, insurance companies are already researching this:

Insurance companies are already investing in telematics to monitor driver behaviour using smartphones and “black boxes”, which feed information back and adjust premiums according to that individual customer’s use of the car.

Yeah. That’s not terrifying or anything. Why are we okay with this? It seems the best option for all of us would be to rip all of this out of our cars. I don’t even like the idea of having undue electronics in a car. Wasn’t the problem with the GM ignition switch an electronic problem? And now, that same lame company is choosing to integrate more sophisticated, and completely untested, electronics into their cars?

Why not just make a good car. I don’t need to connect to social media in my car. I just want it to take me from one place to another. Perhaps there are car companies that get that. GM isn’t one of them.