Monday, November 25, 2013

Automation causing accidents?

Recently there was an article talking about the recent uptick in airplane crashes. It was reasoned that some airline pilots have lost flying skills as a result of automation taking over mundane tasks. When the system do not behave as it should, they get startled and that may have contributed to crashes.

When I read that article, somehow I immediately associate it with the recent uptick in car accidents in Singapore. Since Jan 2005, auto gear car licenses are allowable in Singapore. Somehow during that period, it also resulted in a huge decrease of COE prices which meant more people are able to purchase cars.

It may be that people take less care of cars as it is cheaper but that shouldn't be the case as COE prices have risen a lot these few years and accidents are still quite common in Singapore.

Therefore, I reasoned that the auto gear licenses may have a hand in it. My thinking is that:
  1. Getting a car license is easier to get as one does not need to grapple with the half-clutch issue
  2. People as a result may not understand how the car gears work and may not know the relationship between high gears and brake distance
  3. Auto gear cars are now also easier to drive and that may resulted in people having a false sense of superiority that they are able to multi-task when they are driving

I do admit that the above may occur even though you're having the manual driving license but seriously, once you have encountered the difficulties of handling the clutch, you will be able to better appreciate the relationship between the speed of the car and the gears engaged. Changing of the gears also mean that you concentrate more on the roads then your smartphone / sms / incoming call.

Humans cannot multi-task. Look at the research done.

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