Driverless cars could just be the next breakthrough wearable technology — for a certain degree of “wearable.” Not only are driverless cars poised to disrupt the automobile, taxi, and even ride-sharing industries, but they may also radically change the way that the modern person lives their day-to-day life.
What Exactly Is a Wearable Technology?
At its core, wearable technology is a type of technology that is designed to improve upon an individual’s quality of life, often by automating specific tasks that the individual needs to track. This can range from counting calories to notifying the user of traffic on their daily commute.
Most customers are familiar with wearable technology as smartwatches and fitness bands. Though Google Glass once promised far more advanced technology, the product ultimately failed; not only were customers unsure of what the device could offer, but many businesses were wary of the product itself. But wearable technology is far more than technology that is simply strapped to your body.
At its core, wearable technology is technology that moves with the consumer and interacts with the way the consumer lives their day-to-day life. Through Google Glass, consumers could acquire a form of heads-up display that tracked key metrics about their lives and displayed critical information about their surroundings. And these are some of the vital features that are being integrated into new smart cars and driverless cars. Though we might not “wear” our car throughout our day, we certainly live a good portion of our lives within them.
Why Are Driverless Cars the New “Wearable Tech”?
Wearable technology needs to be able to adapt itself to its user. Not only this, but it has to be able to predict its users needs and integrate itself into its user’s life. A driverless car is precisely designed to do just that.
Driverless cars will be able to follow itineraries and will be able to integrate directly into a consumer’s other technology, such as smartphones. Ideally, there will be a seamless connection between the two; users will likely be able to cast directions directly from their phone to their vehicle.
Ultimately, artificial intelligence and machine learning will be used not only to drive a vehicle but also to learn the preferences of the user. Moreover, driverless cars will be a pinnacle achievement regarding quality of life, especially in areas with significant commute times such as America. Through driverless cars, many employees will be able to recapture hours of their day — and, over the course of a month, potentially days of their life.
Why Is There Controversy Surrounding Driverless Cars?
In the future, the only issue that you might have when driving is insuring your vehicle; insurance companies still aren’t quite sure what to do with driverless cars. Studies have shown that many consumers simply don’t trust driverless cars, even though they have no true reason not to. Many wonder if the technology could potentially fail — even though they readily trust their brakes to save them from certain demise. Though it’s not possible yet to know whether driverless cars are going to be significantly safer than manual cars, it’s often believed that automated vehicles could potentially save thousands of lives.
Much of the controversy surrounding driverless cars has to do with how they will deal with situations out of the norm. If, for instance, a pedestrian is directly in front of the car and another pedestrian is to the left, how will the car decide which pedestrian to hit? But these scenarios are few and far between, and all driverless cars have the capability to be quickly switched off and returned to manual control.
Driverless cars are not far off. Uber has already created a driverless fleet in Pittsburgh which is operating autonomously.