Homo Homini Lupus Est - Op-ed

Automotive

An op-ed by by Zsuzsanna Egri, a Marketing Entrepreneur and an Executive MBA student in the double degree program by the University of Rhodes Island, USA, and Széchenyi István University, Hungary.

Are we - humans - ready for the age of self-driving vehicles or are we going to be the wolves preying on other humans? Or are we eating up each other under cover of rivalry, called economy? I believe we should consider three things before adopting autonomous vehicles further: human psychology, security, and unemployment.

First, we must consider the psychological effect of meeting driverless  vehicles on the street. How would you feel? Would you be comfortable? Our psyche is only processing the information it receives from the 
environment and unknown situations signal: it is an emergency! Could this car run over us? Of course, we believe it can’t, or maybe, but we don't know, and it agitates us so much that we might crash into the vehicle. Vast amounts of money must be invested in campaigns to guide  this change in people’s minds.

The second dimension to look at is security. What if a 40-tonne unmanned truck lost some system and is out of control? This can cause  civil accidents, and even injure humans. Or even more dramatic,  imagine that somebody hijacks the automated system and uses the  vehicle as a rolling bomb to crash into a shopping mall. Secure  communication and capsuled redundant systems will need more improvement to save undetermined human daily life.

The third way to look at the topic is economic necessity. We know  that unmanned vehicles can be used for up to 24 hours a day, which  doubles the operating time compared to human usage. The biggest advantage is the reduction of supply chain costs by more than 30% (TCO) via replacing human work and avoiding side effects like holidays, sickness leave, and weekend hours. 100% optimal.

The world has already invested a lot of money in the development of self-driving trucks and cars. With test periods already in full swing, there is hardly a global brand that is not trying to catch a piece of 
the cake. Our infrastructure is still not prepared for these ground-breaking changes in the supply chain and neither are the humans! What to do with the unemployed people, who are replaced by the automatization?

We must examine this further to ensure that the entry statement – “homo homini lupus est” (Man is a wolf to man) – is not becoming true or is replaced by “Automatio homini lupus est” (Automation is a wolf to man).

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