Are We Human Or Are We Drivers ?

Are We Human Or Are We Drivers ?
Are We Human Or Are We Drivers ?

Ironically a song by ‘The Killers’….Human, got me thinking about the shortcomings of human capabilities and the theory that human beings were not designed to be drivers

Thinking about it, If you were creating an automated vehicle would you programme it to be distracted? Would you not work out the deficiencies of a model so basic that simple dialogue on a hands-free device would increase the risk of collisions by up to four times? That simple discourse can result in human inattention blindness, the focus of debate taking priority of our senses, over the more prevalent risk of on-road hazards.

Upon evaluating design features for your automated vehicle, would you consider additional features such as ‘Emotive Drive’? A fun added extra which motivates your vehicle to tailgate the driver in front? To drive at speeds well in excess of what is appropriate or legal? To shut down, what is already extremely limited visibility, by up to 30% by adding in ‘Sadness Mode’. Perhaps you would consider adding in a ‘Sensation Seeking Pack’ with ‘Stress Mode’ ? Watch as your vehicle makes poor choices, takes additional risks and angers other vehicles around it. The ‘Fight, Flight, Freeze’ button might be fun ? I’ve got visions of a different KIT, the one from KnightRider in my head….But I suppose it really depends on which option, Fight/Flight/Freeze comes out as a result of pressing the button!

Another consideration for the design would be all-around visibility. It would certainly be beneficial for one of the ‘Safety Features’ to be continual ‘360 degree vision’ rather than perpetual blind spots and an inability to focus in more than one area at a time….shutting down ‘Front Vision mode’ whilst switching to ‘Rear View mode’ would have very little use if we adopt a common sense approach. Factor in ‘Response Times’ more suitable for 5mph being used at 70mph with the lack of 360 degree vision and I’m not convinced this prototype would make it off the factory floor!

Unlike KITT from KnightRider I’m not sure I would bless my automated vehicle with a personality. It would be purely functional, with raised awareness of the flaws in design being used to develop a more complete working model. All of the safety features,  more consistency of performance and less of the human factors that influence behaviour and create risk.

Ultimately the question that needs to be asked is ‘will your system be alright, when you’re driving home tonight?’

When we reflect upon our pupils journey’s with us, typically the relationship ends the day they pass their driving test.

Now they are ‘Drivers’….but are they aware that they are also ‘Human’

i-Can Driving Solutions

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