I was thinking about another problem that’s not really a problem, and was surprised that some car company hasn’t already solved it.
Driving through the school zone, I wondered why my car didn’t have a “School Zone Button.” My car, a Mazda CX-5, is a pretty smart car. Its lights and wipers go on whenever the need is detected.
It’s locks are always tricking us, evidence of how smarter it is than us. The door locks are key-less, and depends on you having a fob on your person. You press a button on the outside door handle to unlock it. The car gives you a few friendly beeps and lets you in. But if the button has already been pushed on one side, and someone pushes on the button on the other side, say my wife, the car goes into a frenzy of beeping warning that kind of reminds me of the robot on “Lost in Space” saying, “Danger, Will Robinson!” Walking it is much easier; you just walk away. The car has options to change all of these settings, but they’re exhausting to navigate.
The car has a built in navigation system. This system will show you the speed limit for the road you’re on, and tell you when you’re speeding. You figure that if the car already knows the speed for the road, and knows that I’m in a school zone, I should be able to press a button that will keep the car at the school zone speed.
Yeah, I know, how hard is it to keep a car at that speed? Well, from the number of people who ignore it, it’s pretty damn hard. The school zones seem to go a million miles around the schools in Ashland, starting at 7 AM and going to 5 PM. I rarely see a child in any of them.
The School Zone Button. It’s an idea whose time has come.