The automobile industry has seen an avalanche of technological gadgetry over the past few years. Things that used to be novelty items, such as GPS, cruise-control, auto-adaptive LED headlamp technology, dual-clutch transmissions, and smart keys barely seem exciting at all these days. There are, however, still plenty of mind-blowing tech innovations that seem like science fiction. Most of them are just starting to make an appearance.
AI-powered vehicles are already being rolled out for mainstream use by Tesla, but most are meant to assist the driver, not fully overtake control. Smart cars help by using sensors that provide a 360 degree perspective that can anticipate lane swerving or objects that suddenly appear in front of or behind a vehicle in motion. Machines can react faster than humans, and there is no emotional processing time to take away from a necessary quick-decision.
Another benefit of having a smart car is its ability to diagnose itself. On-board diagnostics enable a driver to fix problems before they escalate to dangerous conditions. This also cuts down on repairs because some issues will be avoided altogether.
The environment is also going to benefit from today’s auto technology. Hybrid systems mean less reliance on fossil fuels and fully electric cars such as specific Tesla models. Safety features are another extraordinary advancement in technology. Rear-facing cameras, anti-skidding brakes, and improved child locks are all positive developments, including parking a vehicle. Not only are there sensors to alert you before you get too close to an object, but the high-end automakers have released self-parking cars.
All of this technology is wonderful, as long as it functions. The more reliant we become on gadgetry, the less confident we become in our decision-making skills. In the case of young, healthy drivers, this might not be such a dramatic issue. For senior drivers, however, this abrupt change could be severe. For many older drivers, there is a learning curve involved with any new technology. Once that is mastered, if things are suddenly different again, they might become confused.
Another way that technology detracts from driving is the removal of unimportant, fun things. When people go on a road trip, part of the fun is the mystery. Sometimes it’s nice to get lost or not know exactly from where the next road trip snack haul will come. When computers more, our minds do less. As far as entertainment, we now have the ability to have nonstop satellite radio, which means no downtime to communicate naturally.