Wednesday, 2 December 2009
Saab had some good tricks. The heat battery that I described in in The Sunday Times of 9 February 1992 really worked but seems to have atrophied. It was a niche product I suppose that was not going to be big outside Sweden. Traction control was demonstrated convincingly on a frozen lake and now everybody’s got it. Driving on ice under Erik Carlsson’s tutelage was memorable. Saab arranged occasions like this well, removing for ever the wrong-headed conviction that skill would always outwit electronics. True it is sometimes better to have switchable traction control, and the newest cruise controls that hit the brakes if a car veers into your path can be unnerving, but they work. How many lives have been saved by anti-lock brakes? Real lives really saved, not guessed at by self-appointed safety campaigners. Incalculable. Leave improvements to engineers and ban lobbyists.