Ford Focus, helping enforce the most basic of rules…

There’s something pretty cool about the new Ford Focus. It’s still a fairly sane choice of car for general family and run around use if you want something reliable, but in the latest version it has some crazy features to make driving easier (or at least thats the idea).

Most of them I’m not too interested in, after all Parking Assistance is something you should just be able to do without help – but I guess there’s no harm in having a bit of tecgnology to make it all a bit easier for you if you’re the kind that struggles with the concept of placing the vehicle in a given space…

What does float my boat is the lane control feature – essentially if you start drifting towards another lane, the car will automatically pull the car back into the correct lane – which in itself is a nice but not that useful feature (again you should be able to keep in the right lane on your own!). What I did spot, and what appeals to me is the utterly amazing concept that in order to change lane you’ll HAVE to use those indicators (you know those flashing orange things) to cancel the lane drifting controls – otherwise it’ll be difficult to change lane. So why is this such a great concept…?

For that, I think I’ll hand over to “The Infamous Grouse” on www.theregister.co.uk who so aptly describes the benefit:

“To prevent the system mistaking deliberate lane changes for accidental meandering the indicators cancel the system.
…forget add-on packages, that should be a standard feature on ALL cars. It might just discourage all those selfish cocks who think it’s OK to change lanes at the last second without indicating or checking their blind spot.”

I couldn’t agree more!

Mind you I think there could be a small problem with the grouses other suggestion:

“If that works, the next step is a system that won’t let a driver leave a roundabout until they’ve signalled their intent to other road users. We can’t all be Derren fucking Brown you know. Some of us need a visible CLUE as to what you might be going to do next”

…which could be  problem if you’re planning to go “straight across” for what is typically the second exit! Still, I’m sure it can be worked on – maybe ONLY let them leave by that option if they don’t bloody indicate. That’d suit me.

And while we’re at it, why the hell is it that drivers of BMW 3 Series and practically any Mercedes driver seems to think that indicators are optional features?!? This does seem to be a flaw wherever you are and certainly its no worse in Paris than back in England, although Parisians seem to think the concept of parking is “force another car out of the space you want to be in”…  but I digress.

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