The Automobile Industry: Tesla, Tech, Morality
Updated: Jan 8, 2021
One of my favorite movies growing up was Back to The Future. At one point in the movie, cars are shown flying through the air signifying a new method of efficient transportation.
While I am not here today to necessarily write about flying cars, I am here to discuss something very similar: cars. Specifically, advancements that have been made in the automobile industry recently, possible future developments and also moral dilemmas that may arise.
Tesla, founded by Elon Musk, has quickly come onto the car scene over the past few years and ushered in a new breed of automobile: the electronic car. While its founder is a tad controversial and the true car lover loathes the idea of battery-powered cars, there is no denying that Tesla has made a breakthrough in the automobile industry.~
Dare I say…Tesla is like the Apple of the car industry. Their products are sleek, simple, and feel good to operate.
Being inside of a Tesla feels a bit like a spaceship. In a way, almost Back to the Future-esque. What really makes a Tesla stand out is that the car is run completely on battery power. This means that barring the occasional tire repair, the typical expenses related to owning automobile are off the table. Additionally, with no engine needed, extra storage is available in the front of the vehicle.
You may be asking yourself if there are any downsides at all to a Tesla at this point. The answer is, well, yes…the same thing that makes the car appealing: its battery life. A Tesla has a battery half-life of approximately 300 miles. While that is all well and good, this mileage isn’t exactly ideal for road trips extending more than a few hours in duration. Stopping at a gas station to refuel for 30 minutes in the middle of a trip is far from ideal.
There are rumors, however, that in the next few years, the battery power of these cars could increase dramatically. If that is the case, we are looking at a whole new ballgame.
In addition to Tesla’s backup camera and break system, the car’s GPS system also updates in real-time to show the exact outlines and shapes of other vehicles going by you. This brings me to another controversial topic: self-driving cars. Are they good, or are they whack? No, seriously… from a moral dilemma standpoint, there are many things to consider. Read this article below, as it does a much better job of summarizing the dilemma than I could ever do.
I could write an entire post solely on the technological advancements and ethical dilemmas of self-driving cars. While statistically it may be the safer way to go, there will be those who would rather have their fate in their own hands instead of trusting a robot. Furthermore, what laws will be enacted? Will driving manually be dead at some point?
The future of cars is fascinating to me. While the flying automobile (as seen in BTTF) may not come to fruition anytime soon, technological advancements will undoubtedly be made in the near future that we would have deemed impossible just a few short years ago. What are some questions you have on the subject of tech and the automobile industry? What are you excited to see? What are you scared about? The future is closer than it appears...
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