Back in the ’70s when I worked at Car and Driver, we called them “Left Lane Bandits.” They’re the people who steal our time, our energy, and our joy by driving at or below the speed limit in the left lane, while there is plenty of room for them to the right.
We all learned (or should have) this simple phrase in Driver’s Ed, “Keep right except to pass.” Drive on the Autobahn in Germany without obeying this mantra and you’ll probably start a third world war.
Saturday was April Fools’ Day and Lexus celebrated by airing this commercial on the NCAA basketball final four games and Saturday Night Live.
Reading some of the comments on YouTube, it’s amazing how gullible people are. I guess this automotive prank punked more people than usual because it’s actually something people want and based in a little bit of truth (unlike the cat helmets from Lotus.) We are in an era of great technological advancement, but as much as some of us would like this to be true, it is, sadly, impossible.
In cased you missed it, the press release includes some of the Lexus communications team’s best writing:
With just the touch of a button located on the front dash, Lane Valet will activate. The Lexus vehicle’s radar and camera systems will scan the road to ensure safe operation while the V2V technology communicates with the misplaced driver’s vehicle. Once connected, Lane Valet will initiate a careful but prompt lane change. The slow driver’s right turn signal will illuminate as the system confirms the adjacent lane is clear of other vehicles or obstructions. Lane Valet will then carefully deposit the unhurried driver into the right lane before disengaging, thus allowing others in the lane to continue moving at their previous pace.
“Lane Valet was conceived by top Lexus engineers who understand the importance of safe and steady driving conditions,” said Brian Bolain, general manager, Lexus product and consumer marketing. “An appropriate vehicle speed without excessive braking offers optimal fuel efficiency, better traffic flow and decreased driver frustration. We’re just trying to give everyone the best possible driving experience.”
Well done, Lexus. And now, get to work on making this happen for real!