Editorial

Technology Is Making The Driving Experience Better, Not Worse

Just hear us out on this one.

There are many times when technology is a great thing to have in cars, like cruise control for long highway drives. But purists yearn for analog cars and old-school driving experiences, such as manual gearboxes and as little technological interference as possible. There are times when those wishes come true but for the most part tech "gets in the way." There are bad things about having an overload of driver-assisting technology in cars for sure. But when it comes to modern sports cars and supercars this tech shouldn't be seen as evil.

Think of driver-assisting tech as a glass wall between drivers and cars. On video, it looks like enthusiasts and automotive journalists pilot today's sports cars with the purest form of direct engagement. However, even though it looks like a human is exerting full control they are blocked by the technological glass wall. A good example is the Ford Focus RS. The hot hatch will have a really advanced all-wheel drive system that will make drivers look badass no matter what driving mode (more tech!) they're in. The Ferrari F12tdf's passive rear-wheel steering is another example that's sure to make people look uber skilled on the track yet may leave them feeling cheated out of a pure driving experience.

Okay, so that's the bad but what about the good? Well, sometimes high-powered cars that lack driver-assisting tech can be unsafe to drive. Take the first generation Dodge Viper for example. It had an enormous 8.0-liter V10 engine producing 400 hp and a manual gearbox. What it didn't have was traction control or anti-lock brakes. Yikes. When speeds spike and the road starts getting curvy even the most hardcore of gearheads wish for a little bit of technological assistance to help keep things under control. When that assistance is not there driving can become a nightmare. Even though many gearheads say that the overload of technology and driver-assistance gadgets are bad, there are some good things about them.

First and foremost, this tech overload makes ridiculously fast cars easier to drive. Take the Ferrari 488 GTB for example. Having a car with nearly 660 hp and a happy tail sounds amazing. However, trying to control all of that power with no driver-assistance tech whatsoever would be very difficult and likely incredibly dangerous. That's why the 488 GTB has systems like Side Slip Control and even basic traction control; the driver can have fun without having to worry about crashing. Also, sports cars that are easy to drive on-track can be driven on the road just as easily. The driver-assistance technology will always be there to protect the person behind the wheel when they want to hoon while making boring trips around town easier to bear.

People drive sports cars to feel an unbridled sense of freedom and to experience intoxicating power and speed. But if there is no assistance technology in the cars to give drivers a sense of safety, then those behind the wheel will be too scared to put the pedal to the metal. This technology gives people the confidence to go hardcore and experience all the car has to offer. Gearheads will always long for a sense of full control over whatever they drive. Just remember that driver-assistance tech is sometimes key to creating this feeling of control. Yes, you may not be the one ensuring the car doesn't go off the track but at least you were able to corner quicker due to your ride's advanced design and tech.

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