Yes, it’s rare that we give more than a passing thought to seafarers at Autocar. And it generally occurs when we have a last-minute Chunnel vs ferry decision before an 80mph driving holiday in France.
But there was a story this week that caught my eye: apparently a lifeboat was ‘scrambled’ and spent three hours off the Welsh coast in darkness trying to track down an emergency distress signal, which it transpired was coming from an (undistressed) car on the Liverpool/Dublin ferry.
I’ve always thought that the BMW ConnectedDrive system was a very clever idea, automatically alerting the emergency services in the event of a crash. The difficulty is the correct identification of a crash and, you might argue, an override if the vehicle’s GPS locates it on the open sea.
It’s also set me wondering how much of today’s technology I would choose to be without. I’ve always said that the only essential tech/option aside from the engine management is a beeper when you open the door if you’ve left the headlights on, but I now find that I like to connect my phone to the car to answer calls and listen to music, and I was very impressed with the speed-limit reading system on the new Ford Focus, which has a camera to read the mph of the signs and display the current limit on the dashboard.