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On July 03, 2019
Intelligent Cars - Are we ready?


Has the time come for us to take the passenger seat? Or do we stay in control for just that little bit longer?

Growing up in the 80s, the highlight of my school week was tuning into Channel 9 at 7.30 on Friday night to watch the adventures of Michael Knight and his condescending black Trans-Am, KITT. The thought of a car that could hold its own in a cockpit conversation, manoeuvre itself out of danger, park itself, and hurdle obstacles with the press of a ‘Turbo Boost’ button, was the stuff of schoolboy dreams. While the cognitive power of today’s vehicles may not match that of KITT’s, we do find ourselves in cars that can sense when you drift out of lane and correct matters, prevent collisions by applying brakes and even park themselves.

Manufacturers are investing heavily in Autonomous Vehicles, in a race to make driverless personal transport a reality. Self-driving vehicles are being piloted on roads all over the world and just recently, the USA state of Florida removed by law all “unnecessary obstacles that hinder the development of autonomous vehicle technology”. This includes acknowledgement that “a licensed human operator is not required to operate a fully autonomous vehicle”. The future is around the corner.

Call me old fashioned, but I’m not ready to let the machines take over just yet. The most intelligent faculty in a car must remain the human behind the wheel. I would argue that driver training is needed now more than ever, even though our cars are smarter by half. Mobile phone use while behind the wheel is the new ‘Drink Driving’. Attitudes to driving need to be addressed with passive and active in-car safety systems that complement human input.

So, to KITT and the lovable bug Herbie, thank you for introducing me to self-driving cars and rest assured it is nowhere near as awesome as you made it look.

A $50 fuel card to the first three Car Club members to reply with the correct meaning of 'KITT' in the 'Knight Rider' series.



Nick Kotsonis | National Business Development Manager, Eziway Leasing

T +61 484 001 565

E nickk@eziway.net.au

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