For years, companies have been falling over themselves trying to connect the growing technological world to the automotive world. There have been prototypes for autonomous cars, there was the huge debate and courtroom battle over driving with Google Glass, and there has been endless chatter about bringing the web to vehicle dashboards.
And as these companies continue to develop, there seems to be two extremist groups growing, each with far different opinions on the matter.
On one side, there is a LARGE group of people that are all for these automotive technological developments. This group can be broken down into three general prototypes, which include:
- The “brink of clinical paranoia soccer mom” that is constantly worried about her child being raped, murdered, kidnapped, lost, hospitalized… (catching my breath)… robbed, mugged, and raped again before being tossed in a polluted river. “Give me more tools to stay in touch; my baby may need me!”
- The businessman that has to be on constant update to make sure business is good and money is flowing in. Work, work, work. Go, go, go. Give me my technology!
- The technology junkie. These people are fascinated by anything technology, whether it be video games or the latest gigabyte upgrade. Like a weak baby calf kept in the dark, they would willingly live a complete sedentary lifestyle in the name of technology. Whatever, don’t judge them; it makes them excited.
Then, on the other side of the debate, there are the staunch curmudgeons that hate any step towards technological progress. This group consists of:
- The people that are crying out in the street that the world is going to end tomorrow. We are all fools and sheep, and technology is taking over our minds, they would say.
- The people that are just too damn old to understand technology. They’ll never really get what a Facebook is or does. They are the people that think that a hard drive is a distasteful sex position. Yeah, they’ll never get on board with the whole technology thing.
- The free-spirits. They want to rid their minds and their bodies and their souls of anything toxic. They would love to move out into the country and be completely autonomous, even if it meant battling a bad case of syphilis with an herbal remedy.
For example, regardless of some people’s opinions, there is no way a person should be able to drive while they are using a Google Glass device (sorry tech junkies). Also, it probably isn’t a good idea to give drivers the option to text and drive. It’s just unsafe, and the statistics prove it.
According to a recent study done by Common Sense Media:
- 11% percent of drivers are talking on their phones at any given time, according to a federal study (NYT)
- 2,600 traffic deaths are caused each year by drivers using cell phones, according to a Harvard study (NYT)
- 570,000 accidents leading to minor and serious injuries are caused each year by cell phone distractions, according to the same Harvard study (NYT)
- 50% of Americans believe that texting behind the wheel should be punished at least as harshly as drunk driving (NYT/CBS Poll)
As we move forward, it is extremely important that companies progress at a steady pace with safety in mind. They need to make sure that our vehicles are not susceptible to cyber-attacks, and they need to make sure that people do not get injured from malfunctions. This might mean that some technologies will have to be left out, but so be it. Now, we just have to figure out where to draw the line.