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Could/would you drive your car without driver aids

Discussion in 'Motors' started by Mercenary Keyboard Warrior, Nov 19, 2018.

  1. Mercenary Keyboard Warrior


    Joined: Aug 4, 2007

    Posts: 8,950

    Location: Wilds of suffolk

    So with the "debate" in another thread about drivers aids etc it got me wondering

    We have become very used to things like 300bhp FWD / RWD cars which are using quite a lot of technology to make them easy to drive with that amount of power

    If the tech making this easy disappeared would you still drive what you do now

    So the sorts of thing I mean, ABS, traction, active stability systems etc

    I think I could do the TT, its not the most powerful, its got good balance, its got plenty of tyre for the power etc, its 100% Audi in that its pretty understeery so would naturally retard enthusiasm in eg the wet.
    But make it a dark rainy night down country roads with mud etc, I think i would be cutting back a lot.

    More than anything though i am thinking cars like Civic Type R, or things like M140i which to all intents are easy drives considering the performance. I cant imagine most of these cars would sell in anywhere near the numbers they do now without all the tech. I think a 140i would be a scary prospect on a wet dark country road to even drive remotely close to what you could do now.

    Just curious what others think :)
  2. daz


    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 23,860

    Location: Bucks

    My Corvette doesn't have any driver aids, and it certainly makes you think about how you use the power. It will break traction with the smallest amount of additional throttle input when going around a roundabout, especially in anything less than the bone dry. On the one hand, it makes it quite fun, but on the other you'd not want to have to make sudden changes of direction at high speed so you can see why driver aids exist.
  3. -westy-


    Joined: Nov 7, 2002

    Posts: 12,220

    Location: UK

    Yes, I would without hesitation. To be fair it's a 200bhp Saab, so not exactly setting the world alight, but I've driven multiple RWD cars without driver aids and not had a problem. It just makes you much more aware of the road conditions.
  4. Outcast


    Joined: Jan 25, 2008

    Posts: 2,883

    Location: Peterboro, Distro:Ubuntu

    As the previous owner of 4 V6 Capris and 1 16L I think I can say "yup".
    I must admit that I like leccy windows, mirrors, power steering & central locking though. Also if my car had been available as an auto I'd have opted for that !
  5. bimbleuk

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 10, 2009

    Posts: 1,572

    Location: Gloucestershire

    I do drive a V8 RX7 with zero driving aids but only in the summer and generally in dry conditions though it can be fun in the wet it's better left for the track.

    Opposite is my i3 (EV) with near instant torque, skinny tyres, in cold and damp conditions it's very hard not to trigger the traction without maybe switching to one of the ECO modes. I'll take the traction control and reduced throttle response so I can waft along and relax a bit while commuting to work. Saving tyres too which are very expensive for what they are being unique to the model and only made by Bridgestone.
  6. ttaskmaster


    Joined: Sep 11, 2013

    Posts: 8,533

    Location: Reading, UK

    From said other thread, you know I would still drive my current car, as it's not exactly festooned with assists to start with. Same for my motorcycle, which is inherrently more of a fun challenge just by nature of being a bike.

    Other cars.... quite probably. I've driven a fair few and the heavily assisted ones were usually very dull and sterile.

    People invest a lot of time, effort and usually money, first in learning how to operate a vehicle well enough to get a licence, and then in learning how to operate it to the absolute best of their ability. I see it as no different to learning a musical instrument, making furniture with hand-tools, or cooking meals, really. Imagine boxers laden with tech aids that tell them exactly where to move, when to punch, what punch to throw... or a 'band' whose performance on stage comprises pressing the start and stop buttons on their drum machines and guitar machines...
    Having things half-done for you (or even completely) by aids and assist devices just takes away the fun, the challenge, the skill and the point of doing them in the first place.

    Aids are understandable on cars for those who just want/need a car to get from A to B and aften aren't fussed about their car much beyond the colour. They're the equivalent of people who just need a basic computer, with auto-updates enabled on everything, that just surfs the internet and does the occasional spreadsheet. An Apple machine is great for them because, like the sort of car they want, "it just works, I don't have to do anything".
    But for enthusiasts of either cars themselves, or of driving for pleasure, they'll want the ability to do certain things in the way they want them done. The same mentality for PC enthusiasts - Some might want to just press a Turbo button and have their PC auto-overclock, while others will want to fiddle with the BIOS and overclock it themselves.

    If a car is so difficult to drive that you need assists, then either it's badly designed, you chose the wrong car for your needs, or you need to spend more time learning to drive.
  7. Frozennova

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Nov 13, 2009

    Posts: 11,135

    Location: Northampton

    Normal service would resume, MX5 has no driver aids. Fairly certain I could get to work and back in the Jetta without falling off the road too.
  8. Conscript


    Joined: Oct 18, 2004

    Posts: 9,072

    Location: Kent

    I'm not sure that this is true. The systems you mention are all intended as safety nets - they shouldn't really have any effect on how the car drives under normal circumstances, so I think it's wrong to consider them as intended to extend the ability or comfort of the driver - they are purely there for when he/she ****s up. I never drive thinking "I can take this greasy corner faster because I have stability control!", I try and drive in a manner where it shouldn't be activated, and if it does, then I know I've made a mistake.

    So to answer the question, yes, I think I could manage to drive a car without such aids fine, because as far as I'm concerned, they don't affect how the car drives. This leaves aids such as power steering,etc - again, I could manage fine, but I wouldn't choose non-PAS in a daily driver.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
  9. Nasher


    Joined: Nov 22, 2006

    Posts: 12,831

    You just have to be mindful that without things like ABS and TC you need to know where the car's limits are. Most people aren't, which is why we have them in the first place :p

    Though it's not a good idea to drive quickly on public roads with no aids on tbh, especially in a sporty RWD car. I think most people who drive something moderately quick and RWD have had at least one poo-panty moment in the wet :D

    We don't teach proper car control in the UK, we should. A lot of accidents in winter would be avoided if people were taught how to recover from a slide.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
  10. Resident

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Mar 10, 2012

    Posts: 2,109

    I've had a 170bhp Rover Metro. (1800 VVC conversion). No PAS/ABS/TC, 185 wide tyres and no weight.

    It was interesting occasionally
  11. Resident

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Mar 10, 2012

    Posts: 2,109

    IMO a skid pan lesson should be mandatory.
  12. Terminal_Boy


    Joined: Apr 13, 2013

    Posts: 6,757

    Location: La France

    Not sure I’d want a car without ABS as I completely forget it exists until a situation occurs that causes me to jump on the brakes.
  13. Mercenary Keyboard Warrior


    Joined: Aug 4, 2007

    Posts: 8,950

    Location: Wilds of suffolk

    Yeah this is pretty much what I mean't.
    There are oodles of 200bhp+ cars beig driven by people who are completely ignorant of what that really means.
    Even a slightly off camber that today is insignificant could suddenly become tricky.

    You only have to catch a few youtube videos of fast cars where people showing off mess it up and suddenly you would see the same.
    People pulling out of a tight side street for example, today no issues, without the aids suddenly that flooring it trying to get into a gap and relying on the traction and stabilty to keep you pointing in the right direction isnt there. More likely to end up doing a donut than a left turn ;) So not quickly driving, just driving that with an unfettered 200 or so + HP would end up with lost traction :)
  14. Entai

    Capo Crimine

    Joined: Feb 28, 2004

    Posts: 72,083

    I like a few others on here I would suspect, learnt to drive in cars with no driver aids, or assistance of any kind.

    In my case the car I learnt to drive in, and my first four cars, didn't even have a brake servo.

    I now find that on the extremely rare occasion I find myself in a situation whereby the vehicle I am driving has driver aids such as ESC and ABS etc. and they cut in, I find myself fighting against them and wishing they were not there.
  15. Scania


    Joined: Nov 25, 2004

    Posts: 23,259

    Location: On the road....


    The first thing I do in my car is turn off the traction control after starting it up, I'm more than capable of driving it in a manner where were it to get out of shape I could and would correct it but more to the point if it was to be at that point it would be through some unforseen circumstance such as a diesel spill or unexpected greasy patch on the road or one which I'd provoked and quite intentionally!

    Driver aids are for non drivers imo, people who drive a car as if they were operating any other domestic appliance, jump in, hit pedal, zoom away and wonder why the esp light is blinking as they tear arse around a wet bend (not knowing what the light even means) without a thought - I've witnessed this with my very much non "driver" sister driving her husbands old M4...

    Unfortunately, driver aids just remove skill from driving I'd argue the vast majority of "modern" car drivers wouldn't last 10 miles in say a Mk II RS2000 in the wet even driven reasonably..
    Sad, but thats just how it is going, the car is taking the skill out of driving these days but, tbh, thats not too hard a challege for it to complete because very few skilled drivers are out there and the number that are will only deminish as time goes by simply because as I say, modern cars negate to a large extent the need of skill by the driver.
  16. pioneer2000


    Joined: Jun 20, 2004

    Posts: 5,346

    Location: Essex

    I’ve probably only set off the ABS on any of my cars a couple of times max over the years... why are you braking so hard unless about to have an accident?!

    I’ve never seen the traction control light up on my A45, though I wonder if that’s because the 4Matic sorts it out before it gets to that point. The GT86 in the other hand was always lighting up even when driving sedately.
  17. kindai


    Joined: Aug 9, 2013

    Posts: 6,396

    Location: Bromsgrove

    The GTR has so many driver aids I wouldnt get off the driveway without them.
  18. Cleisthenes


    Joined: Jul 29, 2013

    Posts: 7,259

    Location: TN1

    I regularly take the stability/traction control off on the MX5, only when conditions are fair though.
  19. almoststew1990


    Joined: May 12, 2011

    Posts: 4,623

    Location: Southampton

    I drive my 75hp 2001 golf without the aids (that it doesn't have). Yeah I know the thread is about powerful cars at their limits, but not having any power and no aids makes you think about driving, read the road ahead, as well as trying to be smooth a lot more than if you can just put your foot down (on either pedal) and the car will get you out of trouble. "normal" cars having 150hp plus is an aid in itself.

    I also had no issues in my 231hp 330ci, which has limited aids compared to today's cars. With the exception of one time after a hail storm on a roundabout about 150 miles from home at night in the winter after a long day; I was half expecting (and therefore only half ready) for the tail to come out - traction control didn't really help but only resulted in a small slide. Having said that I rarely drove it at its limit, aids on and off.
  20. Entai

    Capo Crimine

    Joined: Feb 28, 2004

    Posts: 72,083

    Added for accuracy ;);)

    It's also possible that most of those people are the ones looking forward to fully autonomous cars, so they don't have to think about driving at all.