It’s like communism for a car, really

Driving nannies are already starting to get a little ridiculous. If you try to take a turn too quickly, your car’s advanced stability control system may automatically apply the brakes and keep you in check. Perhaps the car doesn’t think you brake soon enough, so it brakes for you – hell, there are even situations where autonomous braking systems have been accused of braking for no reason. What if your car could evaluate your driving skills and determine what you’re able to do? What if your car can determine whether or not you drive on the freeway, in snow, or in the rain. What if your car determines how close to the imposed speed limit you can get? Sounds ridiculous, right? Well, Toyota thinks that’s the answer to driving safety.

Cars With Artificial Intelligence Could Soon Control You

The introduction to this article might sound ridiculous but, believe it or not, it’s one potential future that could be in store for us if Toyota has its way. A new patent application has suggested that a car’s autonomous systems will grade your driving skill and compare them to a….wait for it…. perfect autonomous car. After doing so, it will then grade your driving skill and determine just what you’re able to do.

In other words, it will restrict some of your capabilities like driving in certain weather conditions, on the highway, off-road, or at certain speeds.

Imagine being told by a machine that you’re only able to drive below 40 mph and that it must do the driving for you. Imagine starting to merge on the highway, and the car’s controls ignore your input and take over for you, all against your will…

Toyota says that a system like this will allow a “gamification of driving experience.” To understand what that means, you should look to various racing simulators like Forza Motorsport or Gran Turismo. These games only let you drive low-powered and cheaper cars on simple tracks or roads until you’ve developed enough skill or, in the world of Gran Turismo, earned various license grades.

Toyota’s AI Driver Grading Does Have Some Merit

Think Driving Nannies Are Bad Now? Toyota Wants to Tell You When You Can and Cannot Drive Exterior
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This whole idea; whole patent; sounds downright ridiculous at face value, but it does have some merit in certain situations.

It could come in handy if an exhausted driver happens to be at the wheel. Then again, AI actually has to be able to accurately determine when someone is actually tired. It could also prove helpful for teen drivers who need to develop their driving skills to actually drive safer, and some are even suggesting that it could keep the elderly on the road even longer – you go ahead and tell grandma she can’t drive anymore and let me know how that goes for you.

Think Driving Nannies Are Bad Now? Toyota Wants to Tell You When You Can and Cannot Drive Exterior
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The thing is, however, that this kind of system could also hamper a teen from developing the necessary driving skills that most of us possess today. They will have a safety blanket of sorts that prevents them from developing these skills to being with. So, while this system might be good on a limited basis for new drivers or maybe for those higher in age that are simply too afraid to drive at higher speed, it might, maybe, make a little sense. And, it would probably put an end to the idiots that think they are Paul Walker from 2 Fast 2 Furious, but for the rest of us, you might as well just call it Autonomous communism. Sorry, Toyota, but I don’t need AI – the same type of software that fails miserably at autocorrect on my phone or brakes for absolutely no reason – to tell me when, where, and how I can drive. Thanks, but no thanks.

Further reading

Think Driving Nannies Are Bad Now? Toyota Wants to Tell You When You Can and Cannot Drive Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Toyota Research Institute Platform 3.0 Autonomous Car.

Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert -
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read More
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