I really appreciate technological development and innovation. I think it’s amazing how human-inventions keeps emerging with a promise of an easier life. However, one thing that concerns me in this constant search for new inventions and improved efficiency is how it influences our rather sensitive societies. For example, driverless cars are expected to be omnipresent in Western society by 2025.
But besides the obvious benefits, it will equally result in less desirable side-effects. For example, the driving-company Uber has proclaimed that they will have a fleet of driverless cars instead of actual chauffeurs as they do now.Currently, Uber actually adds approximately 50,000 new drivers A MONTH! And they operate in 70 countries.. That’s a lot of redundant drivers. Actually, they’d already tried the technology in Pittsburgh.
TechCrunchgives you the technicalities on how it will work – and quite possibly how your future Uber/taxi rides will look:
But – Hold your horses!
One week after launching its self-driving pilot program in San Francisco, Uber is packing up itsfailed trialand taking its fleet of autonomous vehicles to Phoenix, Arizona. So perhaps the ever-loving tech-state of California is not as likely to opt-in to the driverless future. Let’s see how the Cand Canyon state will welcome the driverless vehicles on their roads.
Currently, one man has lost his life in a car accident, which is a lot less than by ordinary vehicles (of course there are currently also a lot fewer semi-driverless cars on the roads). However, one of the major questions regarding the implementation of driverless cars are in fact the ‘what ifs’ in regards to accidents and fatalities.
Patrick Lin, the director of the Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group based at California Polytechnic State University, has made a thought experiment, which I found very interesting and contemplating – you should watch it:
I assume that by now you have watched the 4:15-minut long video, and I do not suppose that you have come to any kind of decision, conclusion or solution on the matter. However, I do hope that it has brought some thought into _____. Because we, as consumers, have a responsibility to enter the discussion of how our lifes (when we’re on the road) in the future should be weighted, valued and calculated for. You can join the discussion here.
If you believe the hype, driverless cars are shortly going to solve all the world’s problems with the promise of zero crashes, injuries and fatalities; lower traffic congestion; higher average speeds; mobility for all, including the physically and mentally impaired; no parking problems; and no need for a driver’s license. But.. If you’re not as easily infatuated by the new technology, or if you are, here’s two articles providing some food for though, listing and discussing some of the pros and cons of driverless cars:
When I arrived in London five months ago, I was walking on Holloway Road. A fairly trafficked road. And I almost screamed and fainted simultaneously when a walked on the sidewalk looking to my right where a car drove by – WHITOUT A DRIVER! At least, that’s what I thought. The reality was that there was a driver. He was just situated in the left side of the vehicle, which a Scandinavian like myself, is not accustomed to. However, the fact that I though the car had no driver, is actually not as far from the future as I felt it in the moment I was passing the car. Actually, a report by KPMG suggest fewer cars and more driverless vehicles in future.
Especially the UK is predicted to be well-suited for the driverless movement:
“The UK is particularly suited to the early adoption of self-driving cars consumed as a service. Our greenbelt policy has created a relatively dense urban population which, when coupled with our high fuel prices, means that so-called robot taxis offer a greater cost saving to the UK public, compared to European or North American markets.”
– said John Leech, Head of Automotive at KPMG in the UK, which also produced the report.
The Internet of Things… You might be familiar with the term. You might not.But its a rapidly expanding phenomenon that connects ordinary non.computed objects with the Internet. The phenomenon is expected to connect 30-50 billion objects to the Internet by 2020 and will therefore have a tremendous influence all aspects of our society and change the way we live and the way organisations do business. Especially how organistions does business will be heavily influenced by IoT (and thus, us as consumers), which is an important notion to be aware of as we approaches a mainstream level for IoT in our modern society.
Jayson DeMers, a contributor on Forbes.com and founder & CEO of AudienceBloom, a Seattle-based content marketing firm, has listed7 Ways The Internet Of Things Will Change Businesses In 2017 and point out that “2017 will be the year that IoT devices explode in popularity, with at least a third of all homeowners owning at least one smart device.”.