Interested in Automotive Careers? Why Safety Tech Almost Disqualified Cars From Racing
May 19, 2017
As technology advances, vehicle safety features keep getting better and better. These systems help make sure our roads stay safe and accident-free. Many car owners are in a hurry to upgrade their vehicles so that they can take advantage of the most modern safety features available. Some BMW owners, though, were disappointed by a recent announcement that certain vehicles equipped with safety technology would be banned from participating in track days. Track days are events where regular drivers can push their BMWs to the limit on a race track under the supervision of instructors.
Read on to learn about this controversial news, and how the events surrounding it unfolded.
An Announcement from a BMW CCA Chapter That Surprised Pros with Automotive Careers
As you’ll soon learn after earning your auto mechanic certification, it’s becoming commonplace for new vehicles to be completely decked out with safety features. Forward collision mitigation systems and lane departure warnings and intervention systems are just some examples of technology that is keeping drivers safe on the roads.
It’s hard to imagine that these safety features could ever be considered a bad thing. However, in early April this year, the BMW Car Club of America (BMW CCA) Genesee Valley Chapter announced that BMWs and cars with these new safety features would not be permitted to drive on their tracks during track days. This news sent car enthusiasts across America and Canada into a tailspin, especially owners of late-model BMWs.
Pros with Automotive Careers Are Hesitant About Safety Feature Behaviour
So, why did the BMW CAA Genesee Valley Chapter want to ban cars with these safety features from its events? Its argument was that these systems are still very new, and it’s not properly understood how they could behave in a race track environment. As pros with an automotive career likely know, when travelling at high speeds, unpredictable features have the potential to be dangerous. For example, on a race track drivers will weave, dart, and race towards the finish line. This could confuse lane departure systems and cause them to intervene, and stop or slow the vehicle. With other vehicles close by and moving quickly, it’s easy to see how these features could have created some worry.
However, it’s important to note that these systems can be completely shut off. By a touch of a button, drivers can disengage these safety features and return to regular driving mode.
The Ban on Cars with Safety Features Has Been Revoked, For Now
After receiving backlash over the announcement, the chapter made an announcement revoking the ban. In addition, according to BMW CAA, the Genesee Valley Chapter’s announcement was unauthorized and did not reflect BMW CAA’s position.
Much to the delight of car lovers who own cars with safety tech, an update about the ban was released only days after the initial announcement:
“The Genesee Valley BMW Car Club of America (BMW CCA) Chapter created and published an unauthorized policy banning BMW’s with Driver Aids from participating in their High Performance Driving Education (HPDE) schools. The national BMW CCA office does not share their opinion and is discussing the issue with the chapter.”
Cars with safety features are fair game, at least for now. Only time will tell if further action will need to be taken in the future. For the time being, car enthusiasts can look forward to taking their new BMWs out for a spin on the tracks.
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