Human Drivers 1, Internet of Things 0: Bumps In The Road

Like any technological tsunami, The Internet of Things requires walking before running.

And during that walking, some bumps along the way can be expected.

One such bump just got highlighted by a study conducted by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute, where preliminary findings show that driverless cars get into more accidents than those piloted by humans.

Ironically, the self-driving car technology works kind of too well. Or at least that much better than typical drivers, who don’t seem to be all that perfect. For example, in Massachusetts, where many drivers seem to view a red light as a mere suggestion, a self-driving car would always stop.

Driverless cars have specific rules programmed in while humans are simply made aware of the rules.

Interestingly, the technology can be modified a lot more easily than human behavior.

And that’s where the gap is in the evolution of The Internet of Things.

As billions of devices become Internet connected, there will be some issues along the way.

Many of these will be unexpected, but once identified, they will be corrected.

  • When it’s learned that an interactive toy is capturing or storing audio, the market will determine what should be done about it.
  • When a researcher can remotely tap into a car’s connected systems, auto manufacturers will decide how to deal with that.
  • When a TV is capturing and transmitting viewing behavior, consumers will tell marketers how they want that dealt with.
  • When shoppers receive too many beacon-trigged messages as they shop, they will let the retailer know by deleting an app or shopping elsewhere, and then the retailer will adapt.

You get the idea.

There also will be issues around messaging, as brands and agencies experiment to see what works and what doesn’t, as consumers become accessible to all-the-time, location-based marketing.

The technology involved in building out The Internet of Things is massive and complex. And most of it has to work in very real time, all the time. This is not baking a cake.

Some of the road bumps will be minor, others not so much.

But the process will move forward.



3 comments about "Human Drivers 1, Internet of Things 0: Bumps In The Road".
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  1. Steven Cherry from TTI/Vanguard, December 18, 2015 at 12:48 p.m.

    Tsunamis neither walk nor run. Walking and running aren't things that anyone requires. And the Internet of Things isn't the sort of entity that requires anything. If there were a Bulwer-Lytton contest for nonfiction, the first sentence here would be a strong candidate. 

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, December 18, 2015 at 1:45 p.m.

    Tsunamis are unstoppable, uncontrollable, destructive, obliterative, speed bumps are soap bubbles. So a technical tsunami as you describe it, does not portend things to come will go very well or a drawing board to go back to. What you are describing is that until humans can be controlled as well as technical machines, our out of sync world will be mired in failures. Maybe a re-evaluation of a deus ex machina de rerum natura would be helpful if possible.

  3. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, December 18, 2015 at 2:42 p.m.

    Was just a figure of speech to convey a concept, Steven.

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