I came across this tragic item of a person who was killed when a car that had been remotely started moved.
A New York man has died after being crushed by an empty car accidentally started by remote control.
Michael Kosanovich, 21, had been standing between two parked 2002 Lexus IS300s, on 6 December, when one of them had been started remotely by its owner, police said.
The car rolled forward and he was pinned between the two vehicles.
Bystanders tried to push them apart but as they did so, the car rolled forward and crushed him again.
Mr Kosanovich was taken to hospital with severe trauma to his torso and legs, according to the New York Police Department (NYPD). He died of his injuries on 7 December.
The NYPD said Mr Kosanovich had been inspecting one of the vehicles at the time of the accident, intending to buy it.
There must be a failsafe mechanism that prevents a car from moving when started remotely so I presume this was due to malfunctioning of the system. The car was a 2002 Lexus and the manufacturers say that this model was not made with this feature and so it must have been retrofitted incorrectly. Adding functional and non-cosmetic features that are not part of the original manufacture is usually a dangerous thing.
This made me wonder as to the benefits of this feature. The time saved by starting it remotely hardly seems significant. In very cold or very hot climates, one can see how starting it remotely with the heating or air conditioning turned on might bring the interior of the car to a comfortable level before one gets inside. Getting into a very hot or cold car is not pleasant but it does not take that long for the temperature to become comfortable, so it seems like a marginal benefit. But manufacturers warn that cars should not be remotely started if the operator is “unaware of the circumstances surrounding the vehicle” which means that one should be near the car and that would take away the benefit of being able to heat and cool the car before getting it.
Is there any other benefit to this feature that I am missing?
Another feature that seems to have limited utility is keyless ignition where the car can be started as long as the key is merely close by. A friend of mine said that she likes it because it saves her having to rummage around in her purse for the car key. But this feature also has a serious defect in that thieves have ways of capturing the wireless code and stealing the car.
Another problem with keyless ignition is that when people lose the habit of physically removing the key from the ignition, they may get out of the car and go off with the engine still running, something that can happen since nowadays engines are so quiet when idling. If the car is parked in an enclosed space, carbon monoxide can build up and there have been cases of people with attached garages dying from carbon monoxide poisoning because they had inadvertently left the engine running and the gas had seeped into their homes.
What technology gives with one hand, it takes away with the other.