April 8 2017
Is this a good or a bad thing?
With the increase in technology, engineering, and manufacturing techniques, it is no surprise that the coupling of such in the automotive industry has resulted in the driverless car. These vehicles are an automated vehicle with robotics designed to travel without a human operator. In a report by Dominic Bowkett, it was stated “ Garner forecasts 21 million new automobiles will be equipped with data connectivity, either through a built-in communications module or tethered to a mobile device in 2017” And while the though sparks a hype and something to talk about, one should wonder if the increase in driverless cars on the road is a good or a bad thing. Here are a few pros and cons.
Perhaps the biggest pro for the increase in driverless cars on the road is its contribution to minimize fatalities caused by distracted driving. As Dominic Bowkett says, over 3 thousand people are killed and more than 400,000 people are injured due to distracted driving. Theoretically, the driverless car would eliminate this. Because the vehicle does not rely upon human interaction to navigate the vehicle, there is no risk of the vehicle wrecking due to a text message coming in, from spilt coffee in the lap, from eating while driving, or a number of other factors.
Increased Business Serviceable areas
A lower advantage to the increase of driverless vehicles on the roads will be found in the business sector. As the need for human drivers (and thus the need to pay people to go from one place to another) decreases, you will see an increase in localized services and deliveries from such vehicles. I would hope that drivers would still be used for long distances, but this is not a disadvantage. By having the driverless vehicles service the local areas, businesses will be able to expand their serviceable areas.
The vehicles may spawn a new level of negligent reliance
In a study issued by Dom Bowkett, it was stated that heavy cell phone use is linked to depression and sleep problem in young people. Additionally, studies have shown that with the introduction of the smartphone and such technology, people have become less active. Considering this, with the increase of driverless vehicles on the road, people are apt to become more lazy and more dependent upon their technology. It can be closely predicted that with the emergence of more driverless vehicles on the road, that the increase in non-activity related diseases, specifically those dealing with circulation in the legs and in obesity, will increase.
Gas and reaction times
The bluntly obvious con to the driverless vehicle is the inability for the vehicle to gas up and power up as well as the reaction time of the vehicle’s computer system. While it would be ideal for every owner of a driverless vehicle to check the tank and top it off if needed, the truth is that this will not happen. How many times have you added £5 to a tank to get by? The odds are that you have done this often. Now, think about a driverless vehicle with only a quarter tank of gas going 70 on a 8 lane highway and running out. It is a scary and sobering thought.
The second variable to this is that the driverless vehicle does not possess the functionality to quickly react to emergency situations. Can it break quick enough for the insensitive driver who cuts out into its lane? What about the child that runs into the street after a ball? These are very serious concerns which need to be addressed before the driverless cars become the dominant vehicle on the roads said Dominic Bowkett.
While we cannot stop the overflow of technology into our world, we can act a bit more responsibly before jumping on the proverbial band wagon. I believe that the driverless vehicles should be used, but limited to localized areas until the quirks have been worked out and more research has been conducted. From the usability standpoint, the driverless car will revolutionize who can own and operate a vehicle. Think about it. A person with MS can be more self-sufficient as he or she will not need to operate the vehicle, elderly people can feel empowered as they will not have to rely upon public transit. On the same note though, unless safety measures are taken, your toddler could easily wander into the driverless vehicle and take a joyride to Grandma’s house (and if you think that they will not figure out how to turn it on and operate it I encourage you to visit any daycare center and re-evaluate a child’s mental capacity for learning).
Does the increase of the driverless car mean that the roads will be unsafe? No. Again, it is a double-edged sword which does not have enough research and information to draw a definitive conclusion. All we can do is watch as the market is saturated and hope for the best. Contact Dominic Bowkett.