Is the Future of Vehicle Technology Scary or Promising?

February 24th, 2020

Whether you embrace the future of vehicle technology or you scoff at the latest trends, you will likely soon be driving a car equipped with gadgets you and your instructors never would’ve imagined when you first took Driver’s Ed.

Just like you, we are both hopeful and hesitant when it comes to the future of vehicle technology. Before we dive into the potential advantages and disadvantages of these advancements, let’s first look at what we might expect in the years to come.

What is the Future of Vehicle Technology?

Features that we might expect include:

  • Cars that drive themselves, partially or fully
  • Interactive, informational windshields
  • Cars that can “talk” to each other and traffic lights
  • Brain-assisted driving technology
  • Enhanced vehicle diagnostic tools
  • Health monitoring technology

How soon these features will be widely used in new cars isn’t clear. But it’s entirely possible that the next vehicle you purchase will contain at least one variation of the technologies listed above.

What We Like About the Features That Future Vehicles Could Offer

Without a doubt, the most exciting thing about the future of vehicle technology is how it might save lives. Vehicles today are safer and more efficient than those of the past, and we all reap the benefits.

If innovation continues to make our cars safer, we’re all for it. The Department of Transportation (DOT) clearly has high hopes for automated driving systems. A few of the benefits the DOT sees in automated technology include:

  • Fewer crashes on our roads, which means fewer crash-related injuries and deaths
  • Shorter commutes
  • Improved road access for elderly people and people with disabilities

In addition to safety improvements, new vehicle technology also improves the user experience of our vehicles. Just think about how much more convenient and safe plugging your phone into your dashboard to play music is than riffling through a collection of cassettes or CDs!

Our Concerns About the Potential Drawbacks

Living in a world with super safe vehicles sounds great. But getting there presents challenges. First, the push to be the first manufacturer to make an autonomous vehicle available to consumers incentivizes automakers to innovate quickly. If that innovation comes at the expense of safety, as it potentially has with Tesla’s autopilot settings, then it’s worth asking if the progress will be worth it.

Drivers are increasingly worried about how automated features affect their ability to safely drive their vehicles. In a survey conducted by Esurance:

  • 10 percent of drivers said automated technology hampers their driving ability
  • Nearly one-third of those surveyed said that warning sounds are distracting
  • Approximately a quarter of drivers are opting to disable some of these new safety features

Cybersecurity is also becoming a concern with many new “smart” devices, including new vehicles. Hackers don’t just retrieve sensitive information about vehicles’ owners; they can also manipulate the vehicles themselves.

Another potential drawback of new vehicle technology is how expensive these features will make vehicles. Vehicle prices continue to skyrocket in the U.S., and it’s easy to see how more technologically advanced vehicles will only make cars more expensive for consumers.

So, there are several reasons that the future might not be so bright. For all the benefits that safety features might offer, there are just as many potential drawbacks.

No Matter What the Future of Vehicle Technology Holds, Accountability is Key

Until vehicles are no longer operated by human beings, negligent drivers must be held accountable when they injure others. As we become more reliant on driving assistance features in our cars, we will also be placing more trust in auto manufacturers to provide the safest possible products.

If the past is an indicator of what the future might hold, we should expect missteps by vehicle manufacturers. With recalls including Takata’s defective airbags and GM’s faulty ignition switches still fresh in our minds, we are right to have concerns about a future in which we depend on vehicles to perform an ever-increasing number of duties.

When Vehicles Cause Harm, You Have the Right to Compensation

At Dudley DeBosier, our job is making sure clients are given the compensation they deserve after car accidents, whether they were caused by driver error or vehicle malfunction. We know that automakers and vehicle parts manufacturers sometimes get it wrong, and it’s often up to consumers to take a stand and make things right.

Injuries caused by vehicle defects are unacceptable. If you have questions about an unsafe vehicle or component you want answered, we encourage you to contact our team for a free consultation. Our defective product attorneys have years of experience holding negligent manufacturers responsible for the harm their products have caused.

We help clients with all types of car accident cases. It’s possible that your crash had many causes. When you hire Dudley DeBosier, we’ll work hard to determine who should be held accountable for your injuries. We fight to get our clients the payment they’re entitled to, so they can focus on their health.