It looks like Nissan drivers of the future will have another electronic nanny nudging their vehicles toward safer driving. Nissan has recently demonstrated to Reuters a brake-resistance device that would attempt to keep drivers from changing lanes if another vehicle is detected in the motorist's blind spot.
Blind spot and lane departure warning systems aren't new--many vehicles we've tested include lights that illuminate or warning beeps to notify the driver of danger. The Audi A8 L W12, tested earlier in the month, vibrated the steering wheel if you drifted out of your lane without intentionally signaling. Nissan's system will go a step further and actively vibrate the brakes to pull the vehicle back into its lane. For example, the computer would pulse the right brakes to pull the vehicle in that direction if a vehicle were on the driver's left blind spot. According to Nissan, drivers will be able to override the system and push through the resistance in the event of an emergency.
As a feature to correct careless drivers, this brake-resistance device is a welcome addition to Nissan's cache of safety equipment. However, we can't shake the feeling that somewhere between gas pedals that push and brakes that pull is a future where our cars are driving us.