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All Roads Lead to the Future

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After looking at all the changes that are approaching this generation, a generation that thrives on convenience and instant gratification, the need to look back at past generations.Generations that had rivalries over the automaker.The Ford, as my Pa would say, Ford stands for found on the road dead who would roll over in his grave if I ever purchased a Ford. The guys driving muscle cars and street racing, usually out in the country, where pride was on the line and you either drove away with no damage to your car or it was hauled off on a trailer. In Bob Lutz’s article, Kiss the good times goodbye, he tells us that if “superior technology, design and software” are provided that everything will be alright. Changes is difficult but it is also inevitable. In every culture there have been times that walking was the only means of transportation, then the evolution of the wheel which allowed for horse and carriage; or other animals that could pull a cart. Society changes and evolves because human desire for bigger and better things.The challenges of the first automobiles let to bootleggers hauling their alcohol, which eventually led to NASCAR racing. Just as NASCAR and Bootleggers have a connection change was a process that has allowed for a major sporting event for the “Red Necks” and long gone are the days of racing on the beach in Daytona, NASCAR now has safety devices, computer simulations, technology at its finger tips that show draft, downforce as well as tire pressures as the car makes only left turns.From personal experience of watching many races at Texas Motor Speedway sometimes change can is too much too fast and it takes the excitement out of just driving down the back roads and enjoying the simple life. Lyfts, or taxi cabs along with the trolley system and bus drivers.

Driverless cars have to potential to change the entire global economy. It is felt that driverless cars could make our lives faster, wiser, and safer which will provide for more convenience within society. Finally, economic factors have been discussed in the previous two points because it’s a common thread throughout this discussion. Autonomous cars are a not a thing of the future but a reality now. By the year 2030 the majority of the cars on the road will be self-driven which will allow for adults to commute to work and then send the car back to take the children to school. “A major positive social effect of driverless cars will be a reduction in vehicle accidents in which it is reported that 93% of traffic collisions involve human error. Driverless cars have the potential to make roads safer, reduce repair, and legal costs”. Driverless cars also have an economic impact on the job market, there will no longer be a need for Ubers, Next, the safety of autonomous cars has to be considered, is society ready for the future innovation? In the article, How Safe Are Self-Driving Cars, Waymo stated that self-driving cars are, “pretty darn safe.”He has driven over two million miles on American streets and has only had fault one accident, making it one of the safest cars on the road.

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This is about 40 times lower than new drivers, and self-driving cars also reduces the risk of drivers driving drunk or impaired. Politics playing a role in delaying autonomous cars because of fear of the technology and disrupting large companies such as auto dealers and insurance companies.It is difficult for people to embrace change and to accept that there will be loss of certain types of jobs and control over things that has become as routine and accepted as driving a car without technology telling how fast to go, how far to go or if it is safe to go. When considering autonomous cars one must look at the affects it has on society as a whole. This paper will look at three of these affects, technology, safety and economic factors; the hope is to show both positive and negative sides of autonomous cars. Let’s first consider technology.In the article, The Science of Self-Driving Cars, “there is only three technologies used when developing a self-driving car: sensors, connectivity, and software control algorithms”. Sensors, cameras, radars and even ultrasonic technology may be used as template for the cars navigation system in order to create a safer driving situation in autonomous cars.The addition to connectivity with the internet and satellite accessibility allows for the cars to connect with maps, radars which shows changes in weather patterns, road conditions and even other cars that are in front, behind or beside you.Finally, control software and algorithms are used to program specific routes and transmit data that can be used to improve they system of self-driving cars.The negative impact that is felt within society is the cost of technology and how technology changes rapidly. There is also the impact of cost to the infrastructure of our highways. With economic declines and the difference between states the question would be how to manage and maintain roads in a cost effective manner.

All roads leads to the future but what if those roads a filled with autonomous vehicles? The future of technology, safety and economy can both be positively and negatively affect the culture of America. The ethical issue of autonomous cars is the driving force that people wrestle with in order to justify allowing these cars on the roads. According to Lin, the question would be how to test an autonomous car and its ability to prove that it has the basic understanding of the rules of the road. Should autonomous cars with all the programing, engineering and technology be held to a higher standard than an average teenage driver? “Our laws are ill-equipped to deal with the rise of self-driven vehicles” but laws are currently being considered because all roads lead to the future and the future means change.


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