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Gene Collier is a columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Three-and-half months I’ve had the new car, enough to have driven it a couple thousand miles, plenty of time and distance, you would think, to have attained some general understanding of how it works.

And you would be wrong about that.

I don’t know what this thing is doing, except that it’s great at objecting to whatever it is I’m doing.

Technology is the problem, no doubt, because someone who still thinks the Beatles are singing to him from inside the radio is not going to respond effectively at the controls of a 2022 Tucson equipped with forward collision warning (FCW), automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane departure warning (LDW), blind spot monitoring (BSM), rear cross-traffic alert (RCTA), adaptive cruise control (ACC) and annoying unexplained beeping (AUB).

It turns out that I’m so bad at driving now that I’ve been identified as part of “a potentially dangerous sub-group of overconfident motorists,” according to research by AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety. It’s not exactly like being a Jan. 6 insurrectionist, but I’ll take it.

Apparently, everyone in my group of subversives is bedeviled by false assumptions regarding the new automotive technologies, such as “falsely believing that the system will react to stationary objects in their lane, such as construction cones or other objects, falsely believing that the system will provide steering input to keep vehicle in its lane, and falsely believing that the system can operate in all weather conditions.” And that’s just regarding the cruise control.

I’ve got a barrel of other falselies at the ready: Falsely believing the Beatles are singing from inside the radio, as mentioned, falsely believing that the “check engine” light will go away if you put a piece of tape over it, falsely believing I have a sunroof when there is no sun in Pittsburgh, falsely believing there are no calories in Hershey’s kisses — I mean there’s no end to it.

So AAA issued a press release to warn other drivers there are people like us, who are fairly convinced they can tame the new technologies on the fly rather than receive actual instruction or even so much as read the owner’s manual.

They haven’t seen my owner’s manual, which is about the size of a Mini-Cooper. Including two supplements, it runs to 788 pages in 10 sections, but even at that — even as the Foundation For Traffic Safety suggests I consult the manual, visit the manufacturer’s website, allow time for practice — it further recommends that I just forget the whole business.

“Do not rely on this technology,” it says. “Instead, act as if the vehicle does not have it.”

Well too late, my intrepid researcher.

I’m already in the 25 percent of drivers who back up without looking over the shoulder, thanks to that rear camera. What’s it for if I’m supposed to turn away from it? You’re not making sense. Also, is the car steering itself as part of this lane departure warning system? Because I think it is.

Frankly, I’d love to act as if the vehicle doesn’t have any of this stuff, but the vehicle continues to flaunt it. My ever-changing instrument cluster is consistently flashing unsolicited messages such as “Keep both hands on the wheel,” and “Lead car has departed,” comments that seem about a step removed from “Don’t pick your nose.”

It’s true I haven’t learned to use the cruise control yet, partly because I haven’t really needed it but mostly because I didn’t like the tone of the manual on this topic. My car’s version of Adaptive Cruise Control is called Smart Cruise Control (SCC), which implies that I’ve been using Dumb Cruise Control (DCC) since 1977, but it further includes something called Overtaking Acceleration Assist (OAA). In Section 7 on Page 77 of the manual, I am informed that “While Smart Cruise Control is operating, if the function judges that the driver is determined to overtake the vehicle in front, acceleration will be assisted.”

That’s right. My car is making judgment calls on my intentions, apparently assigning some kind of metric to my determination in this example. What if I’m not particularly determined on that particular day? What if I am, in fact, afflicted with ennui, or worse, riddled with angst? Does this car have Overtaking Ennui Assist (OEA)? Where’s my Angst Modulation Control (AMC)?

Don’t cars like this realize that none of this matters? Drivers are texting most of the time anyway. Those who aren’t are only confused by the audible warnings that come from any of these technologies, and the older drivers aren’t sure if the noises are coming from the car, the phone or their pacemaker/defibrillators.

As part of one study, 29 percent of respondents reported at least occasionally feeling comfortable engaging in other activities while driving. The study didn’t say what other activities, probably because you definitely do not want to know.