This post was inspired by an article I read a while back on OrgTheory.net.
From drone deliveries to self-driving cars, automatization of daily life activities makes accidental death a thing of the past.
Car crashes are a normal part of life: humans are not perfect, mistakes happen, and people tragically get into wrecks. Despite the grim nature of car crashes, everybody uses these machines because of their obvious convenience and benefit. I do not need to remind you that it was not until the mid-1900s that most of the developed world finally transitioned from using horse carriages to automobiles as the main method of transportation. Where trains were limited to their obtuse infrastructure, and horses to their speed, automobiles traversed any landscape that had some inkling of a road.
People, for the first time in history, traveled hundreds of miles in a day, covered literal continents in a matter of weeks, and interacted with other humans over distances and at rates never imagined before. This automobile-zation of society resulted in people conditioning themselves to the idea of car related death. For everyone, the trade-off was worth it.
However, the problem of car crashes, and similarly related accidental death, is coming to an end. Inching closer to ‘immortality,’ humanity’s development of technology is reaching further into the social aspects of life…and death.
According to the Center for Disease Control, accidental deaths make up the fourth leading overall cause of death in the United States. Out of those accidents, over 30,000 come from car crashes and another 30,000 come from falling (roofs, stairs, etc). No one can avoid every single risk in life, but with the rise of more technically skilled machines, avoiding some sources of accidental deaths will become much more possible. These new technologies are so effective that problems like vehicle related death may disappear completely. Imagine a world without news of car pileups, drunk drivers, and people using their phone while driving. Helen Greiner, a CEO of a drone producing company, opines further that drones will also reduce auto related accidents as they diverge traffic from roads and into the sky, and will reduce accidental deaths by performing tasks notorious for injury, i.e. cleaning the gutters and putting up Christmas lights.
While the issues and technicalities behind self-driving cars and delivery drones remain hefty and speculation is anything but fact, society is slowly moving closer towards a world where death does not exist.