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I can do it for myself

Some technology is fine, but I hate a car that tries to dominate me.

Information is good, but domination is bad. So I like big digital speedometers, blind-spot warning systems and reversing cameras, but I'm against automatic parking, radar cruise controls and anything which can influence the steering.

My personal jury is still out on automatic emergency braking, but I think it's probably going to get a tick. The reason for this reluctance runs all the way back to the very first cars I drove with anti-skid braking systems, a BMW 5 Series and a Honda Accord.

I can clearly remember the wheels of the Accord chattering and skidding as I tried a panic stop, but the Five was worse. I was driving on a gravel road when I needed to brake for a corner.

I did, but the car did not, and I can clearly picture to this day the tree I narrowly missed as I arrowed off the road with the ABS system working - or not - precisely as the engineers intended.

Hitting the personal fast-forward button, there was a Lexus that insisted on applying emergency braking power when another driver cut into my lane and cut the beam for the over-sensitive radar cruise control, a Camry that cut engine power just when I needed it in a corner, and a Volkswagen that refused to accelerate from a Stop sign because I was holding the car on the brake at the same time as tickling the throttle.

Just last year, there was a Mercedes-Benz that swerved me into the path of an oncoming car when it detected that I had drifted over the white line, when in fact I was easing gently away from a potential head-on smash.

I know that technology improves and I like some of the stuff that makes life easier, but I was overwhelmed this week by the all-new Volkswagen Golf and a bank of safety equipment that runs from a fatigue monitor to radar cruise control, automatic wipers and lights, automatic parking and even multi-collision braking to stop the car after a crash.

A lot of this stuff is good, and there's no doubt that it should make our roads safer. But it's also encouraging a breed of drivers who are really just passengers, relying on their cars to save them from themselves. And that cannot be good.

This reporter is on Twitter @paulwardgover