Ever since the automatic air conditioner enhanced our private commute experience in the 1950s, consumers have been utterly fascinated with automotive technology. From the now seemingly rudimentary advancements of the past century to the release of the tech-savvy Tesla in 2008, humans are constantly reaching new heights to invent smarter vehicles.
Between touch screen installations and auto-driving capabilities, the inclusion of automotive technology creates a convenient and exciting driving experience for consumers. However, could the potential dangers of automotive and ambient driving technology outweigh the benefits?
Let's discuss the positive aspects of automotive technology as well as explore the potential dangers involved so you can decide for yourself whether a car with ambient tech is a helpful addition to your life or a hazardous safety risk.
The Benefits Of Automotive Technology
There are countless benefits to automotive technology; mainly it is convenient, personalized, and useful. For example, take the smartphone integration tech that has become so ubiquitous in newer car models. With the ability to synchronize your smartphone to your car, you can create a more convenient and personalized commute experience by listening to your Spotify playlists, answering calls using your car's touchscreen, or using auto voice capabilities.
These conveniences allow us to feel more at home in our vehicle. According to a OnePoll study, most American car owners spend 18 days behind the wheel per year, and most reported feeling a close bond with their vehicle. This makes a great case for the benefits of automotive technology. If we're going to spend nearly 500 hours in our car each year, don't we want an experience that is both safe and engaging?
Experts in automotive tech argue that your car should feel as personal as your home, and as intuitive as an extension of your own being. These advancements can enhance our comfort and sometimes even increase our safety, such as the auto-brake function that is present in many new car models.
The Risks Of Automotive Technology
While automotive tech can be fun, engaging, and helpful, there is always risk involved when you drive a car equipped with extra tech. With the rise of technology included in our vehicles, there is an increased chance for distraction while driving, a leading cause of car crashes and fatalities. According to the US Department of Transportation, distracted driving claims over 3,000 lives per year (2019) and is additionally responsible for thousands of injuries.
If you are driving with distractions or are the victim of a distracted driving accident, you must make a plan of action after your car accident, including paying for medical bills, dealing with damage to your car, and even seeking legal counsel. Over 6 million accidents happen per year on American roadways with even more occurring in big cities like Chicago, which see nearly 120,000 auto collisions every year. Distracted driving creates potentially fatal complications, and some would argue that additional technology in cars only increases these dangers.
While distracted driving can happen to anyone (texting, eating, etc), having a screen built into the car can increase the danger of the driving experience. Voice command is meant to mitigate this but is often not as responsive as you'd like it to be, and some psychologists are even calling it hazardous. Increased dependence on technology is hazardous on the road in any case, whether you're looking at a smartphone in your hand or a smart screen installed in your vehicle.
Since the invention of the motor vehicle, humans have felt a constant need to strive toward our cars' technological advancement. While some facets of automotive technology can be helpful such as the life-saving auto-break function, others such as self-driving capabilities and built-in screens raise questions of safety. With the information provided, you will be able to choose how much auto technology you allow in your new car.