Doug Newcomb at PCMag gushes about “nannytech” — autonomous driver assistance systems that help prevent vehicle accidents without taking over the car completely.

I don’t love the term “nannytech”, but Newcomb’s enthusiasm makes me think he’s on to something:

“But the best thing about the [Audi] Q7’s large collection of driver-assist technologies is the remarkable amount of control the driver has over the systems’ warnings.”

It’s not clear from Newcomb’s piece if the driver control aspect is great because it’s such an improvement of previous systems (think of the incessant seatbelt-warning bells), or because it’s so much better than the fear of turning over the whole car to a computerized driver.

But it’s something to chew on, and it would be interesting to see some stats on just how much safer various “nannytech” technologies make human drivers.

Originally published at on February 5, 2016.

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