Autonomous Vehicles Follow Progress of Cell Phones

There’s always a trial period that occurs when you make a change to your lifestyle. Imagine jumping behind the wheel of one of Tesla’s autonomous vehicles right now. It would probably be quite frightening and I’m guessing that trial period would end quite quickly. 

Lifestyle changes alter what is familiar to you forcing you to learn a whole new routine. Because we are creatures of nature, we naturally don’t want to learn something new unless it interests us. 

Remember your first cellphone? I’m guessing a Nokia or a Motorola that could call, text, set an alarm, and maybe play Snake. Those features were all you needed…until someone sold you on more features. 

Competition for the cell phone market quickly became a feature phones race, turning cell phones into productivity tools – adding a calendar, email, music player, etc… The Blackberry was in the lead because you could conduct your entire business day through that sucker. Productivity sold phones. But, where is Blackberry today? Who remembers their BBM PIN? Eventually, the features became overwhelming and too much to learn. Ease of use then became important, which Apple gave us with the iPhone. 

No different than phones in the early 2000s, car manufacturers are in a features race right now. From the blind spot monitor to automatic parallel parking to brake assist, and everything else new cars now offer, manufacturers are in a race to give us features that will make us feel safe and relaxed. These features are supposed to segue us into autonomous vehicles. Unfortunately, we have to learn how to use these features.

In a study published last year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that of 265 Hondas brought in for servicing at dealerships in and around Washington, DC, less than a third still had their lane departure warnings turned on. They flat out gave up on the feature because nobody taught them how to use it. On the other hand, all but one had their forward collision systems up and running. Why? Well, it was much more intuitive to use.

While this isn’t a huge sample size, it is indicative that car dealers are selling features, but are doing a horrible job teaching users how to use them.

Sensor Fusion Is The Answer To Autonomous Vehicles

Currently, there is a sensor specific to each notification. We need Sensor Fusion which is a computer that collects input across multiple sensors and relays it to you in a unified manner. Instead of learning what the 16 different flashing lights on your dashboard mean, a computer using sensor fusion will better relay what’s going on and make the correction for you – not suggest it.

Sensor Fusion is a critical component to autonomous vehicles and getting us away from the feature car era. The user experience of iPhones allowed us to escape the feature phone era. And user experience is what will bring on autonomous vehicles.

The best way to win over the trust of the public is to incrementally add these features, warming us up to autonomous vehicles. 

Car manufacturers need to realize that this is a problem of human nature.

Changing Your Routine

Think about the cycle of New Year’s Resolutions. New Year, New Me. Usually, two weeks into the year, you are back to the Old Me.

The mistake we make when giving up chocolate, going to the gym, tackling more responsibility at work, or getting back into artwork, is that we don’t take the time to learn these new features.

We only implement what easily fits our routine. You quit going to the gym because you have to travel an extra ten minutes to get there. You don’t work on your artwork because it eats into your relaxing TV time.

The only way to fight this cycle of overambitious lifestyle change is to redefine how we make changes.

Personally, I’ve always stayed away from New Year’s Resolutions. Trying to change your lifestyle during one of the most unproductive months is dooming yourself to fail. Think about it. January is the cold month following an exciting holiday season.

Instead, you need to change your lifestyle as it becomes necessary and exchange it for what you don’t need.

Let me clarify.

Last year, I started documenting and spreading my opinions to interested listeners. Twice a week for eight months, I created opinionated vlogs about technology. 

Instead of adding this into my schedule, I replaced it. I found something that wasn’t as important to me – watching YouTube videos – and cut it out of my routine.

After eight months of methodical growth, I realized that vlogs weren’t the best platform to spread my ideas. The week following this realization, I switched to written content and now you are reading my Quick Theories instead of watching them.

Build your routine around your goals and incrementally adopt lifestyle changes in rhythm with everything else you do.

Naturally, we are attracted to familiarity, so you need to disguise these changes as a familiar activity to create a routine.

Honestly, I had to disguise writing for playing video games when I started Quick Theories. If you enjoyed this article, then sign-up for a weekly Quick Theories here: quicktheories.com

3 Comments

  • Yoav
    7 months ago

    After twenty-something years as a hired S/W programmer, I’m starting today my journey to build my own start-up – a service for the disadvantaged, who surely have a hard time adopting new features and life in general… I’ve signed up to read Quick Theories only a few days ago, but it echos with my personal change quite strongly. Thanks!

  • 7 months ago

    USE TIME TO MAKE CHANGE FEEL FAMILIAR. I LIKE IT!

    • luis
      3 months ago

      Change is fueled by our feelings: I over do it on my first day at the gym, rest assured i will never go back. If I focus instead of building the habit of one hour every other day by just working out very lightly, there will be a point in about three weeks, that my body will ask. Then I can start the real workouts, and how I feel the next day will not be significant.

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