Remember when you were a kid and your mom got lost while driving the family to your vacation destination? Your dad likely opened the glove box, busted out a huge map, and figured out in a matter of minutes where the wrong turn had occurred and how to get back driving in the right direction.
Nowadays, if you get lost while driving your kiddos someplace, one of them can invariably bust out their smartphone and use a GPS app to provide you with directions on where to go. While this technology is handy and can limit stress when you’re lost, it also means younger generations will have lost the ability to read a physical map. Despite what the future may bring in advanced car technology, here are several trends about how the smart cars of tomorrow will impact the way we travel.
Will Smart Cars Have the Same Effect?
As cars become more technologically-advanced and semi-autonomous, we may see a similar dependency on these cars to do the work for us. For example, instead of using our mirrors and checking our blind spots when changing lanes, we may become dependent on the car’s ability to let us know if this is safe. With this in mind, let’s look at some of the ways smart cars will impact the way we drive for better or for worse:
Learning to Drive: A Teenage Rite of Passage
With the proliferation of smart cars and the eventual release of self-driving cars equipped with scads of amazing equipment, it will be interesting to see how this technology impacts future generations of teenagers. Odd as it may sound, the tradition of referencing driver’s manuals and taking practice exams on sites like Driving-Tests.org to learn the rules of the road may one day be history. And as self-driving cars become more mainstream, teens may no longer have to nervously await their turn at the DMV to take their driver’s exam, but we’re certain they’ll still find a way to post on Instagram a photo of their new, shiny license.
Drivers Will Wind Up Doing Less
Because smart cars will eventually be equipped with so many technologically amazing features, drivers may very well wind up sitting back and letting the car do the work for them. From high-resolution cameras and sensors to onboard computers and more, semi-autonomous and self-driving cars will be able to handle just about anything that takes place on the road.
For example, a feature known as adaptive cruise control will keep tabs on your vehicle’s speed and make automatic adjustments when your vehicle senses it’s too close to vehicles in front of you. While we may lose our ability to be super alert while behind the wheel, the increased likelihood of vehicle safety may make this a welcome skill loss.
Technology May Come with Safety Risks
Finally, as automotive technology advances and cars are able to do more for us, there undoubtedly will be instances when problems or glitches arise, leaving motorists with no other choice than to file a lawsuit. As Aronberg Law notes, while smart cars are put through an endless battery of tests to ensure their safety, instances of computer glitches will inevitably lead to accidents.
Other issues that must be addressed by car manufacturers include the chance of the vehicle being hacked. As creepy as this sounds, it may be possible for criminals to hack into the vehicle’s mainframe and control its actions. This is certainly an issue that needs to be figured out and solved before autonomous cars become commonplace; after all, the last thing we want is to be so dependent on our car’s ability to get us from Point A to Point B that we forget how to use our own skills and knowledge.