nanny car
n. A car that uses computer technology to prevent the driver from making unsafe actions or decisions.
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The legacy of the witless 60 Minutes investigation into runaway Audis almost two decades ago is that soon nobody will be allowed to start a car, raise or lower a convertible top, or so much as open the gas cap without flooring the clutch, putting on the parking brake and then putting both feet out the window.

Nanny-car syndrome will get worse, as traffic density and automotive performance increase; as manufacturers turn cars into rolling offices, restaurants, I'm-so-wired communicators and DVD entertainment centers; and as driver competence plummets.
—Stephan Wilkinson, “Man & Machine,” Popular Science, December 01, 2003
Your car soon may be more than just transportation. It could become your nanny.

Federal regulators are urging automakers to install devices that chime, buzz, beep, blink and otherwise nag you until you fasten your seatbelt. Ford uses such gadgets, and others may follow.

Seatbelts save lives. They would save a lot more if we could get our usage up from the current 73 percent of motorists.

The feds also are about to require sensors that will warn the driver of underinflated tires. If tire pressure is low, warning lights will come on until the tires are properly filled. That's going to require a lot of badgering, because only about 11 percent of motorists properly check their tires.

Down the road, perhaps, the nanny car will have devices that monitor body fat and cholesterol. If they're too high, the car won't start.

Instead a flashing display on the dashboard will say: "You're too fat. Get out and walk."
—“Coming soon: nagmobile,” The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN), October 15, 2002
2001 (earliest)
Once upon a time, when we climbed into a car, we had to think and act for ourselves. But computers are taking over behind the wheel, alleviating driver distractions and taking more of the safety-critical decisions that human beings all-too-often got wrong. Roll out the nanny car.
—Ross Tieman, “When the car starts to take the big decisions,” Financial Times (London, England), June 06, 2001
The British have long used the phrase nanny car to refer to a small vehicle ideally suited for short trips into the city to pick up the groceries or the kids (chores that, presumably, one's nanny would perform). This newer sense of nanny car (sent my way, with thanks, by subscriber Matt Sargent), is based on the more general idea of a "nanny" being someone who is excessively protective or interfering. In this sense, it's similar to nanny state (1965), a government seen as being overprotective or unduly restrictive.

A couple of synonyms for nanny car are nanny-mobile (2002) and nagmobile (2002), the latter seen in the headline of the second example citation.
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