The Future of Driving
Driving in major cities has become increasingly difficult and impractical because of accidents and traffic throughout the day. The amount of cars on the road also causes pollution problems. According to United Nations figures, “7 million people die prematurely each year because of air pollution.” In the article, Stefan Knuper proposes technological trends that can help solve these problems.
The first benefit is that it can help drivers drive safer and quicker. With in-vehicle connectivity, drivers can take advantage of real-time analysis of traffic data. An example that comes to my mind is the app Waze. Waze gathers map data and traffic information from its users (data such as accidents, traffic jams, and speed/police traps). This technology can help clear up traffic jam and help drivers avoid potential accidents.
Another benefit is the use of electric cars by Tesla. Tesla has taken over by storm with their electronic advancements. Everything about Tesla, from their batteries (they use “small, cylindrical batteries instead of large flat cell batteries (IB)”) to their models are different than most car dealerships on the market. Tesla is also opening “supercharger stations so owners are never less than 200 miles from a 30 minute fast charge” (Forbes). Soon, electric cars may replace gasoline cars which can drastically reduce the pollution we cause.
A third benefit is the use of automated driving. Cars navigating on their own can “reduce accidents by 90%” (Cars). Automated driving prevents accidents and human-error. These cars avoid outside distractions since this technology lacks human emotions and only focuses on the destination. Likewise, cars will obey the law all the time which can reduce accidents that come from speed limits and driving through red lights. Automated driving can go hand-in-hand with apps such as Uber and Lyft in which people request drivers to pick them up and drop them off. This reduces the amount of cars on the road, and inevitably reduces accidents and pollution.
Despite all of these benefits, this article overlooked some points. Using autonomous driving poses risks. Automated cars will not be able to recognize day-to-day things such as flaggers if a stop light suddenly goes out. Another point is that these cars will not be able to respond to emergency vehicles moving out the way. Cars still need a driver behind the wheel to focus on small, menial decisions. Finally, electric cars can be hacked since no technology is invulnerable. Hackers can cause mass terror if electric cars are paired with automated driving for instance.
Personally, I think there is too much risk using an automated car. In an ideal world, using automated cars is a great idea but there is too much risk to put our lives in the hands of technology. However, Tesla and their electronic cars are great for moving forward to a world where electronic cars are the norm. This can greatly help solve pollution problems and reduce the amount of accidents we have.
Claburn, Thomas. "Where Cars Fit In The Future - InformationWeek. InformationWeek. N.p., 28 Sept. 2015. Web. 01 Oct. 2015.
Fuller, Cameron. "What You Should Know About Tesla." International Business Times. N.p., 17 May 2014. Web. 01 Oct. 2015.
Hartung, Adam. "Why Tesla Is Beating GM, Nissan, and Ford." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 28 June 2013. Web. 01 Oct. 2015.
"United Nations and Climate Change." UN News Center. UN, 25 Mar. 2014. Web. 01 Oct. 2015.