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Rise of the Machines: Problem with the 'Planet-Saving' Prius

The Toyota Prius has undergone somewhat of a metamorphoses over the years of its existence. It would appear that the Prius has left the automotive world in search of a new career, as a fashion icon. Since its inception back in 1997, the Prius has become the spearhead of a whole new generation of green motoring. In terms of hybrid auto-mobiles there was no competition (apparently). For nearly 15 years now, it has become the fashion accessory for ‘the celebrity’. They may own fleets of pointless 4x4s and multi-million dollar hypercars, but if they own a Prius they appear to have the ridiculous belief that they care about the environment and mother earth. The worst part is that the glossy magazine reading public actually believe this nonsense. I have always had my doubts about the Prius as a ‘green planet saving’ car, but it would seem that now there is a whole new problem.

News has reached my ears that Toyota has had to recall 1.9 million Prius hybrids due to a software fault that may be causing the cars slow down suddenly. The Toyota Prius claims to be saving the planet, and maybe it will achieve that by killing off the human population, driver by driver. The machines are rising up. This is the revolution we all feared.

Welcome to the kamikaze Prius.

The Toyota Prius - car or fashion star?

The Toyota Prius – car or fashion star?

The cars in question are the current range of Prius’ that have been in production since 2009. Essentially, a software fault is causing a mass of warning lights to come flashing in the poor face of the driver. It has been reported that in some cases, it has caused the hybrid system to shut down which will stop the car even while driving. Even if this is not the case, the fault still causes the car to enter a ‘failsafe’ mode which will significantly reduce the power of the engine and the batteries.

It does not take a genius to work out that this could be massively dangerous in certain circumstances, whether it is in the busy city or on the open road. Toyota has said that there have been no accidents, injuries or fatalities yet reported by the problem. There is a very strong chance that this may be true, but I am always highly suspicious of this. If I wanted to preserve some form of credibility for my company, I would not disclose yet more bad news related to my product.

Is Toyota hiding something? Are they hiding a dark secret?

The world has proclaimed that the Prius was a revolutionary step forward in the automotive world. Technologically, the hybrid system was a breakthrough, but maybe Toyota discovered something else… They pushed the limits of the technology to a whole new level. What if the technology…came alive? They thought they could control their new power.

Did they learn nothing from Jurassic Park? If you try and create new life and you abuse the power of creation, it comes back to bite you...

Did they learn nothing from Jurassic Park? If you try and create new life and you abuse the power of creation, it comes back to bite you…

Whatever the truth behind the matter may be, it does introduce a new and very important issue into motoring. As the years go on, we are relying more and more on computer systems within the cars we drive. As I am sure we have all experienced, there are times when the computer you are using will just freeze or shut down altogether?Can you imagine that while driving along at 70mph along a motorway?

“Your Prius has discovered an error and must close. Would you like to send an error report?”

I believe that the future of motoring should also look to the past for inspiration. Hyper-futuristic computer hard drives may not actually be the way forward. What ever happened to simplistic motoring? It is always good when it works, but I will forever be worried what happens when this computing power goes wrong.

On a more serious note, I am glad this has happened to the Prius. I do believe that it is proving that the car is not as perfect as the worlds’ media and the celebrity world has often made out. I have always had my doubts about the eco-friendly nature of the car anyway. It boasts better fuel economy, but fuel economy is, to the most part based on how well the driver can drive the car. If you drive the Prius like a lunatic, you will get no better fuel economy than you would from any other car. In fact, Top Gear have even explained how the Prius is just as damaging to the environment as any other car, and even proved that against a BMW in set conditions, the fuel economy is not that amazing.

I am never going to deny that the Prius was a step in the right direction, but I do hope that people will accept that it is in no way perfect. Preserving the planet should be the biggest priority for car companies in the future; hybrid cars are an elegant solution, as are electric cars. With the release of the McLaren P1, it proves that electric power can be harnessed with the traditional engine for astronomically mind blowing results.

The future is bring, the future is green (most likely).

I just hope that the Prius revolution can be stopped before they take over. It’s always the quiet ones.

Keep Driving People!

Follow me on Twitter @lewisglynn69

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