Recently Kia has started running ads about semi-autonomous features that are now available in most of the vehicles they produce. Several companies have advertised similar features to the ones found on these new Kias. As modern technology allows humans to designate more driving requirements to machinery, we must learn how to interact with this new tech until it becomes fully integrated. Some companies have already had to deal with a disconnect between man and semi-autonomous automobiles. As we progress, it is important to instill in drivers that driver aids (even autonomous ones) are just that. They are there for some convenience but mainly to improve safety. When these aids are used incorrectly, tragedy strikes. Some features do not allow drivers to be too negligent, such as emergency braking. We can not, however, imply that it is ok to rely or become dependant on these systems. You may or may not have seen this ad before, but I want you to take a look at it.

I don’t know about you, but if I was going to introduce a line of semi-autonomous products I would not imply that they would be able to help you “even if your mind wanders”. While there is no direct message stating that you should rely on the system, you are falsely reassuring people. Let’s face it, the people that would be most reliant on these systems are most likely uneducated on proper motoring technique. Something tells me they won’t quite understand that emergency braking is to help reduce the chances of an accident and not prevent one entirely. And then there is this one:

Seriously? By telling people that “statistics show the average attention span is 8 seconds” you are indirectly and (maybe) unintentionally making people think that it is ok to have that attention span during driving. I have no idea where they are getting their statistics. If you are paying attention to the road for an average of eight seconds when you drive, please voluntarily get your license suspended. These ads are not new but these are the newest from Kia. While other manufacturers continue to run similar ads, I feel Kia is exploiting the fact that distracted driving is becoming the norm. True as that may be, you can not promote it. Subtly or otherwise.