How Autonomous Driving could change our Society

17 January 2017

We are living in a period of changes in all aspects of life whether that be cultural, discoveries in transportation and mobility, machine learning or artificial intelligence. There is a lot of discussions about autonomous cars these days and we can see and read a lot about “the race to get there“, technological challenges such as Artificial Intelligence, GPU capacity and the effect These technological reforms may have on employment and future generations. However, no one is looking to the main key driver of these changes, up. The human beings, the consumers the ones that need to adopt these technologies.

The main game changer for all these technologies to come along is our behavioral change and our willingness to accept it. Autonomous driving will have a massive impact on humans, in how we move, how we live, how we are socializing and how we interact with each other. There is a really nice article regarding the second-degree impact of these technology changes form Ben Evans that I invite you to read call Cars and Second other consequences here.

On for me lies here ” How ready are humans to accept and adjust to such major innovations in the industry that will potentially have an enormous impact on their day to day life? Should this perhaps be the focus for technology companies as a matter of priority?

My personal view is that this will be an uphill struggle. From my daily interactions, it is evident that people still tend to “judge by experience” and by what they see only hence limiting their capabilities to easily adjust to futuristic technologies as such. A common question I am often the recipient of is “yes David, but when will we see autonomous vehicles on the road?” My answer is always the same..realistically, only when we are mentally ready. A lot of automotive manufactures are claiming different time frames for these deployments, but the only ones that can make this happen is..well.. us. It is hence imperative to see more of these vehicles on the road to accept them and they need to provide a life changing experience that saves time, offers comfort and economic benefits otherwise humans would take some time to adopt these new technologies.

Are humans currently one of the variables that technology companies need to focus to have this technological change? Most definitely so. No technology would be accepted if humans do not want to change. Humans need to see a real value addition and a life changing experience to accept these technologies. Nowadays everybody is focused in the technology challenges and how it may change our future landscape however as Jonathan Carrier mentions in one of his articles Successful Innovation for Human progress . Bill Ford Jr., executive chairman of Ford Motor Co., recently spoke to the Detroit Economic Club members at Ford Field in Detroit and said: “This (shift towards mobility) is all about people. It’s not who is first to market, but who is most thoughtful to market. We will be one of the winners. We’ve been great at keeping the human being at the center of what we do.”

Article by David Fidalgo

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