The Smartest Car Yet!

There is an endless list of “uninvented inventions” that could make our hectic lives easier. It may not be considered a communication or media device, but a car that drives automatically I feel could better the lives of an enormous amount of people. But what would that do to our society? How could it help and hurt the way we interact with each other? For one thing, in theory, if the technology was flawless (which it never is) the self driving car would eliminate many accidents. Or would it? Could people trust this new technology enough to put their lives at risk? What are the obstacles we face when adapting to a new device? and if we were ever able to adopt this new technology, what would the effects be on our society?

These questions can not be answered easily, but media archeology helps provide an insight as to how to approach them. Media archeology is the recalling and rewriting of history as it pertains to culture technology. From a media archeologists stand point, it is important to look at how you experience technology rather than the technology itself.

So let’s go back to the self driving car. If we approach the device from a MA standpoint then the car is not what is important. What truly matters should be how we relate to it and create a connection the new device. How would it change our society for the better and for the worse? What would it do to our economy and other competitors of cars? Would it be man made or mass produced by a factory machine? Because this does not exist, it really does not matter how we answer these questions. What should be noted is that our relationship with our new technology is the most important.

self-driving cars figure 2

This picture is from http://www.edn.com/design/automotive/4368069/Automobile-sensors-may-usher-in-self-driving-cars and shows what our future cars may be capable of doing.

Another example from today’s culture is a cell phone. The phone only has as much power as we associate with it. The device itself is insignificant without the impact we allow it to have on us. Media archeology provides us with the background information necessary to understand how our relationship with technology is what is most important.

-Grace Marlette

edited by Ali Ramee

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One thought on “The Smartest Car Yet!

  1. I think that the idea of self-automated cars is both intriguing and nerve-racking. On the one hand, there are so many bad drivers out there that asking “how could they get any worse?” really is a legitimate question. Smart cars really could reduce the number of accidents on the road, which would be huge given that car accidents are such a large cause of injury and death, especially in the United States. Having smart cars may also neutralize the threat of driving while intoxicated, which would also be pretty massive in the grand scheme of things. It would be like having a personal driver everywhere you go. (As a side note, how would traffic regulation change if this happened? What would the day-to-day qualifications of a smart car driver be? Could you actually be impaired while operating it, since it would be technically operating itself?)

    However, the idea makes me a little nervous as well. What if the car lost control or malfunctioned in someway? That could potentially be an immediate and gruesome death for the person driving it. Also, how would the rest of our culture be affected is everyone had a smart car? I can’t tell if it would be like an over-the-top science fiction movie or if, in some way, it could actually work and make sense. The next 25 years are going to be crazy…

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