Driver assists make cars more 'pleasant not fun' says expert

Exclusive: Car tech aids drivers but takes away the pleasure of driving says Vauxhall head

Car tech is full of give and take as Vauxhall's Head of Product Marketing Stuart Harris tells T3 in an exclusive interview driver aids make cars more pleasant but less enjoyable to drive

The steady influx of driver assists in road-faring vehicles has taken much of the enjoyment out of driving but made the modern car a more ‘pleasant’ place to be, industry expert and Head of Product Marketing at Vauxhall Stuart Harris has told T3.

Speaking in an exclusive interview Harris suggested that whilst modern cars and the increased use of driver aids such as cruise control and traction control make the car a more ‘pleasant’ place to be, they are decreasing the amount of enjoyment drivers get from being behind the wheel.

“The reality is that the majority of the time we are not able to enjoy our cars,” Harris said. “There are now more cars on the road, more road works, more traffic and the idea is to get the balance so that driver aids make the majority of the time spent in the car a pleasant place to be.”

He added: “This doesn’t make the car enjoyable, but pleasant.”

Whilst Harris believes the increasingly popular driver aids can hinder the enjoyment of a car, he insists manufacturers are working to give the art of driving back to those behind the wheel. He said: “The trick is to develop a car that you can enjoy the 10 to 15 per cent of the time you are able to enjoy a car.”

“The trick is to still offer these aids but make them so you can switch them off if you want to or have it so it doesn’t intrude much on the driving experience.

“You still have to have fun in your car, we don’t want to turn it into a fast moving consumer good, it’s got to be something you literally have to enjoy.”

Do driving assists take away from the pleasure of getting behind the wheel or help in your daily slog through traffic strewn commuter routes? Let us know what you think via the comments box below.