Striking a Balance With New Technologies

As self-driving cars creep closer to becoming a reality, experts are celebrating the “crash free” future that comes along with these advancements.

By automating certain features of the cars, the goal is to reduce crashes and help defend against driver error.

A recent article by The Verge warns against this mentality and cautions readers on the topic:

“Car companies love to explain how their research and development efforts will lead us toward “a world with zero crashes,” as General Motors puts it. Automakers like Stellantis and Nissan, among others, tout their efforts to develop “next generation technologies to make roads safer for drivers and pedestrians alike.” 

With American roadway deaths now exceeding 40,000 per year — including a surge of 10.5 percent in 2021, the fastest on record — these promises sound like salvation. 

The companies are referring to technologies, typically known as advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), that can manage aspects of the driving experience and intervene if the human behind the wheel makes a mistake. Such features include automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and pedestrian detection. With billions of dollars invested, automakers, federal regulators, and safety advocates alike are bullish about ADAS’s potential to achieve “collision-free mobility,” as Honda puts it. 

But upon examination, these new features are hardly the panacea that their boosters imply. Some elements presented as safety enhancements (like lane keep assist) may be little more than driver conveniences. For now, at least, those technologies that could save the most lives (like pedestrian detection) remain deeply unreliable. And even if ADAS eventually works flawlessly, it is likely to have only a modest impact on annual traffic deaths.” 

Read the rest of this article here. 

While these advancements hope to eliminate crashes and human error entirely, it is unlikely that this technology will magically erase these issues forever.

While technology can be used to eradicate certain issues and assist processes, software best works in tandem with human guidance.

In business, the most important piece of implementation is the plan and guidance of certain automation tools.

The same sentiment will likely ring true for self-driving cars as well.

We don’t want our technology to do everything for us; we want our automation to help alleviate certain issues and help streamline processes.

Keep an open mind when implementing new technologies and work in tandem with them rather than letting them overcome certain facets of your business.

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