Conditional/unconditional, and of a different magnitude, yes. But whether it is faith in God or in people, it is still faith! That, I believe, is the point of SM's example.
If that is what faith is for you, then so it is with you. And of course I respect that.
As I have been saying, scriptures describes to us the nature of faith, so that, we may understand not only what the word means, but more importantly, what it is, even its nature. Knowing the nature of faith, I have come to realize that faith is faith, only in God. In relation to things and people, other than God, it could not be faith, even while we think and say it is. Faith can only be faith because God exist. If there is no God, there could be no faith, for faith is described to be the substance, of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. In other words, only in God can we believe and trust with the assurance of the things that we hope with absolute certainty of happening, to the degree that one takes them as reality. And this then tells us that faith could only be what it is with God, where there is absolute assurance and certainty, and where doubt can be perfectly absent. So, faith is not faith, if God were not its object. That is the nature of faith. Faith can't be what it is, if disconnected from God.
Those who do not believe in the gospel preached by the apostles in scriptures say they have faith, and that for certain is in other gods. Even while they think so that that is faith, it does not mean, it is, since such have not the nature as that described in Heb.11:1. So, this 'faith' they say, is really not faith, or in a sense may be said it is, but a false one at that. Of course, none of them will accept that it is false faith or that it is not faith and insist that it is faith. So what then? I think they will be guilty of making those people or things where they have faith in, as being true gods. And that is idolatrous and sinful.
Now, considering those who believe in the gospel preached by the apostles in scriptures, the Christians. Needless to say, they have faith in God and Christ, and to no other being or thing. God is true and does not change and fulfills His promises and is all powerful. In God, the Christian can have faith, in the scriptural sense so to speak, for in Him, they can have full assurance of what they hope for with absolute certainty of happening and take them as reality.
Now, most Christians, as I was then, who speaks of having faith in things and in people. And needless to say, this is not about the matter of salvation and the promises of God. It is with regards to the practical life on earth, the daily practical living. So, the Christian have faith in a lot of things such as in the example of SM, having faith in his car keys, and in your example, having faith in car manufacturers, mechanics, and in drivers on the road. If we were to consider what scriptures says of faith, which I have explained above, this kind of thing does not fall under the description of the nature of faith. So, it is not faith, but is something else, perhaps some strong degree of confidence, but not faith. Now, if the Christian takes it to be faith, as having the nature described in Heb. 11:1, then like those who have faith in other gods, I think the Christian will be guilty, knowingly or not, of sin, of idolatry.
This brings me to the saying "the just shall live by faith". This clearly does not only refer to salvation unto eternal life, but likewise refer to the daily practical living of the believers. We then must understand that living by faith is living in a way that in everything that concerns practical living, one acts by faith, and that, not in anything else, but in God. So, in the examples mentioned above, the faithful believer, clearly must not have faith in the car key, car manufacturers, mechanics, and in drivers on the road, but his faith must be in God concerning them, so that, he prays to God about his concerns with these people and things.