Cruise Control Equals Autopilot YKTTW Discussion
|Cruise Control Equals Autopilot|
In 1945, mechanical engineer Ralph Teetor invented cruise control, which helped revolutionize the automotive industry. In short, what it is is a device that detects a vehicle's speed and then maintains it automatically, without constant use of the gas pedal. What cruise control isn't is autopilot; it maintains speed, but the driver still has to otherwise operate the car. However, it's become a cheap and easy gag to paint a character as stupid (or just a bad driver) by having them make this mistake, despite the fact that cruise control has been around for over 50 years and practically every car has them. If anything, its casual use might be turning this into a Dead Horse Trope. Examples:
- One Bloom County comic has Billy and the Boingers on tour. Steve calls them together for a meeting, but freaks out when he realizes everyone's there. Opus responds "Relax, I put it on 'cruise control'."
- Used as a throwaway gag in King of the Hill, where this is said about Hank's mother by her new husband.