There has been a lot of anti-technology talk after the fatal Tesla crash where Joshua Brown lost his life. There have been wild statements before all of the facts are known, perhaps there was too much faith in the technology and not enough human supervision. There are between 1.5 million and 2 million traffic deaths worldwide every year, that is a lot of human suffering and we are not counting the millions of severe injuries. We finally have the technology to save a million plus lives every year from now on.
People have proclaimed fear of robots and fear that technology will be deadlier than human control. Many of us have concerns over privacy and government control of our lives. It has been stated that more lives will be lost by early implementation of technology that is not ready. These are all real concerns but saving so many people and doing so before more people die has it’s own critical weight. We must proceed and also pay attention to lessons learned.
We must maintain human supervision of the technology at least for a few more years. We need radar targets in the gaps under big trailers. We should continue to monitor the safety statistics of computer control of cars research efforts and test fleets, which still exceed human control statistics. We need cars that communicate with each other, this could virtually eliminate traffic crashes. We need robust anti-hacking efforts and legal protections for privacy rights. We need obstacle detection systems and lane scan technology in big trucks yesterday, this could end fatigue and reckless driving crashes. The same could be said for fatigue and impaired driving in cars. We need off switches and the ability for humans to regain control of the vehicles.
We need to proceed with caution, but we must proceed. Road testing must continue. This is like a cure for cancer, would anyone say we must stop? Millions of lives is beyond our comprehension but they are waiting to be saved.