Tesla Crash And Self-Driving Cars: Solution Or Problem?

Tesla Crash And Self-Driving Cars: Solution Or Problem?

New technologies can bring both solutions and problems.
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With the constant introduction of new stuff into our everyday lives, it’s easy to get excited about new technologies and opportunities without thinking about the possible flaws or problems that come along with these new technologies.

One of the most recent technological advances are semi-autonomous cars -- or cars who drive themselves. Recently, there was a car accident that the auto industry knew was bound to happen, but feared. On May 7, Joshua D. Brown died in an accident in Williston, Fla. He was driving a Tesla Model "S" and using it in semi-autonomous, or "autopilot," mode. The car's cameras failed to differentiate the white side of a turning tractor-trailer from a bright, light colored sky and didn’t activate its brakes. Brown didn’t activate the breaks either.

Automakers and analysts have spoken about the need to be cautious when introducing more semi-autonomous features, like automatic braking and adaptive cruise control. It’s easy for people to quickly become dependent on these features and assume they work better than they actually do. The developers and workers in this particular auto industry were always concerned about the possibility of an accident like Brown’s.

Bryant Walker Smith, a law professor at the University of Southern Carolina and expert on autonomous driving issues spoke about the understanding of these new technologies. “For years people have been saying that the technology is ready and it’s one of my pet peeves, because no it’s not,” he said.

Tesla has stressed the newness of the autopilot system, declaring that drivers have to manually enable it and “must maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle” while the system is in use. Tesla released a statement saying, “Autopilot is getting better all the time, but it is not perfect and still requires the driver to remain alert.”

Karl Brauer, a senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book, spoke about the consequences of this accident for Tesla’s reputation. “They have been touting their safety and they have been touting their advanced technology. This situation flies in the face of both,” he said.

There is still much skepticism regarding semi-autonomous and autonomous driving, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Walker Smith spoke about the inevitability of a car crash involving these self-driving technologies. This accident can help to bring forward a necessary discussion of regulations on this technology and its future limitations. Smith also said that it would be unfortunate if this accident turned the public’s opinion to be against driver-less cars and the potential for these cars to save lives.

When it comes to new technologies, it’s important to be somewhat cautious about them but to also remain open minded. The potential of these driver-less cars to save lives is amazing, and the public should not become closed-minded to this technology because of this accident, but rather maintain awareness of its limitations. Technology will never be perfect and we cannot depend and rely on it to be. Smith summarized his thoughts by saying, “Driving today is dangerous... Every solution creates its own set of problems."

Cover Image Credit: http://fortune.com/2016/01/12/tesla-nissan-self-parking/

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Why Your Grandma Is Your Biggest Blessing In Life

Because nobody loves you more than she does.
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There are many people in your life you are thankful for: Mom, Dad, siblings, cousins, best friends, teachers, neighbors, you name it. You are grateful to have people who constantly support you, who pick you up when you're down and love you unconditionally. But the one person who stands out among the rest of them is your grandma.

SEE ALSO: 10 Reasons Why Your Grandma Is The Best Person In Your Life

Ever since you were little, you and your grandma have always had a special connection. Going over to Grandma's house for the night was something you looked forward to. She knew how to entertain you at your best and worst moments. No matter what you did together, you loved it. Being with your grandma wasn't like being at home or with your parents – it was better. You went to the park, made cookies, went out to dinner, got a “sweet treat" at the mall, played Go Fish, took a bubble bath for as long as you wanted and got way too much dessert than you should have. You did things you weren't supposed to do, but Grandma didn't stop you. Because at Grandma's house there were no rules, and you didn't have to worry about a single thing. Being with Grandma was the true epitome of childhood. She let you be you. She always made sure you had the best time when you were with her, and she loved watching you grow up with a smile on your face.

The older you got, your weekend excursions with your grandma weren't as frequent, and you didn't get to see her as much. You became more and more busy with school, homework, clubs, sports, and friends. You made the most out of your time to see her, and you wished you could be with her more. Although you were in the prime of your life, she mattered even more to you the older you both became. You were with your friends 24/7, but you missed being with your grandma. When the time rolled around, and you got the chance to spend time with her, she told you never to apologize. She wanted you to go out, have fun and enjoy life the way it makes you happy.

Reflecting back on these moments with your grandma, you realize how truly special she is to you. There is no one who could ever compare to her nor will there ever be. All your life, there is no one who will be as sweet, as caring, as sincere or as genuine as her. Even though you're all grown up now, there are things about your grandma that never changed from when you were a kid. She still takes you out for your favorite meal because she knows how important eating out means to you. She writes you letters and sends you a $5 bill every now and then because she knows you're a hard-working college student with no money. She still helps you with all of your Christmas shopping because she knows it's your tradition. She still asks what's new with your young life because hearing about it makes her day and she still loves you to no end. Your grandma is your biggest blessing (whether you knew it or not), and she always will be no matter what.

Cover Image Credit: Erin Kron

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I Spontaneously Deleted My Social Media Apps From My Phone For A Week And I Have No Intention Of Adding Them Back

Scrolling through my news feed on my laptop just doesn't have the addiction factor that scrolling through my phone does...

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A little over a week ago, I decided to delete all of my non-communication social media apps from my phone. Instagram, gone. Twitter, goodbye! I've never had the Facebook app on my phone, but I logged out of it on safari, too.

I've never been one to post on social media very often, so all I ever did was scroll through tweets or pictures and lose time. Sure, I was able to keep up with friends, and I am partial to all of the dog Twitter accounts that I follow, but overall, I found that I was simply wasting my time.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against social media. While I think that there are negatives to social media such as the importance of projecting a "perfect life" and the negative associations that can come from that, overall, I think that social media is just that: a way to stay up to date with friends and family. It being a way to stay up to date with pop culture is just another plus.

Twitter and Instagram were the first apps that I saw every time I opened my phone... of course I'm going to gravitate to going to them. I found that each time I opened my phone I would check to see if there was anything new. With the number of times I check my phone in a day, there rarely were more than two or three new posts. That is a problem.

When iPhone came out with its Screen Time app, I used it to limit the time that I was allowed to use each app. I set it at 20 minutes, thinking that that would be plenty of time to get my fix but not be on social media too much. However, while for the first month or two, the limit deterred me from going over 20 minutes, I soon found myself overriding the limit without thinking twice.

The next extreme? Delete the apps altogether. So that's exactly what I did.

So, deciding that I could still access my accounts from my laptop if I really needed to see that one tweet everyone is talking about, I deleted my Instagram and Twitter apps for a week to see what would happen. A week later, and my apps are still deleted.

Within this "experiment," my goal was to see how taking away the accessibility of my accounts affected me. I didn't limit myself from getting on Twitter or Instagram or Facebook on my laptop. I could do that whenever I wanted. But I don't always have my laptop on me like I do my phone, so it wasn't something where I could instantly access the website anytime I wanted.

I still check Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter on my laptop a few times per day. But, I only stay on each for a few minutes because scrolling on your laptop IS NOT the same as scrolling on your phone! They do not provide the same satisfaction. After a few minutes on my laptop, I get bored of scrolling.

On my laptop, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook don't hold the same appeal. And because of this, I've slowly stopped getting on the websites. And that's OK with me.

I have extra time now that I'm not scrolling through my news feeds. While I'm not really sure where that extra time has gone, that's something that I could focus on in the future. I could use it to read more. Or I could use that time to sit and watch what is happening around me. The possibilities are endless, and I can't wait to see how I fill up the extra time I now have.


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