Listening to 16 episodes of the Four Cast Podcast has gotten me into a prediction mood. Here’s my first prediction:
With an increasing array of dashboard distractions at driver’s disposal, there will be a statistically small but noticeable increase traffic accidents and fatalities in urban centers.
Exhibit A) Studies are starting to emerge showing that anti-cellphone-talking laws have no impact on crash data.
Exhibit B) Just last month nation media made a big deal about 14 pedestrian deaths in Toronto, in the span of a few weeks.
Whether this is a statistically relevant number, I predict that the media will continue covering this sort of thing. Traffic safety will become a major issue. People may even begin to recognize that it has become difficult to drive will so many distractions, but by-and-large people will see this distractions as a necessary evil.
This will set the stage for the self-drive car. Based on the media’s (car-company backed) influence, the general public will see the self-drive car as the cure for the growing pandemic of traffic carnage – among other things. Depending on how bad it gets, manufacturers may even be granted some leeway to tweak the self-drive software, people might say things like “it’s not the drivers fault granny got hit, he had a blue screen of death.”