At Urban & Taylor, we’re committed to helping students obtain the education they need to ensure a bright future. As part of that commitment, we decided to start a scholarship that would help first-time college students do just that. The latest submission period for that scholarship, Spring 2018, just came to a close. We were humbled by the overwhelming number of applications we received. All of the essays were outstanding. Thank you to everyone who applied!
We’re pleased to announce we’ve chosen a winner.
Congratulations to Ethan Rogers of Taylor, MI!
Ethan will be attending Thomas Jefferson University.
Spring 2018’s essay topic was on driverless vehicles, their potential impact on our nation, and whether we, as a society, are ready for them. Ethan articulated this thoughts well and provided both angles of the argument in an objective and thoughtful manner.
Here’s his essay:
“In the early sixties a very famous cartoon depicted speculations of technological advancements that the future could hold. Robots, automatic moving sidewalks, and flying automobiles were among the most notable devices that were expected several decades into the future. While many of these ideas have come to fruition in recent years, as robots are becoming more common and moving sidewalks are present at locations such as airports, technology is constantly being improved and vehicles are now one of the hottest topics regarding technology today. While they are not quite the same as flying vehicles, recent automobile improvements such as the driverless car allow us the opportunity to take advantage of hands free driving.
With these cars, awakening before work and requesting a driverless car to pull into your driveway in order to carry you swiftly to your job will become as routine as brushing your teeth. As technological breakthroughs such as this arise it becomes common to speculate on several different points of interest. Will these driverless cars have a positive or negative effect on the number of accidents in our nation? Are we as a civilization prepared for such advancements? In the following, an attempt to answer these two important questions will be presented.
After the technology of driverless cars has been perfected, we can expect them to have a very positive effect in regards to lowering the number of car accidents that occur in our nation, increasing our overall level of safety. The potential to ensure protection of the passengers in the car and those in the surrounding area by removing all possible occurrences of human error can be provided by this advanced technology. Imagine the common scenario where a woman has worked a twelve hour shift at her job, and while driving home on her 30 minute commute she begins to doze off. In the event that she begins to fall asleep while driving her own car the results could be catastrophic to herself, the car, and innocent bystanders.
If instead she had the ability to call up a driverless car, or owned one herself, she could take the opportunity to lay back and relax as the car drove her safely to her destination, eliminating any possibility of sleep deprivation-related accidents. As these vehicles prove to drive as efficiently in the dark as they do in the day, unlike us everyday humans who may find it difficult to drive in later hours, night time driving would also become much safer.
While the potential benefits for driverless cars outweigh the negatives, I do not believe that we as a civilization are ready for this type of technology as of yet. In order for these cars to make a smooth transition into our lives, a larger amount of knowledge about them must be spread in an attempt to ensure that every one is on board with how they work and the manner in which they respond to their surroundings. Education on these cars should be given to the general population in attempts to sell the ideas of safety and convenience to allow our nation to gather a firm understanding on how they operate, so we can better understand how one should react if we come across one on the road.
I also believe that it would be best for the technology to be further improved to ensure the absolute safety of those who come in close proximity of these vehicles. Improving the technology of these cars, especially in the area of how they know when to stop, accelerate, or change lanes, should ensure that the ultimate level of safety is reached. Because they are self driving automobiles it can also be argued that they could be easily hacked, resulting in unfortunate disasters. To ensure these types of issues cannot occur, steps should be made to protect the technology from all attempts of hacking before mainstream use.
Ultimately, I believe that driverless cars can be an absolute benefit to our society by improving the safety of all of those who come in contact with these vehicles, but the technology is not quite where it needs to be in order to ensure this safety. The idea of driverless cars is promising from a technological point of view, as it provides us with a way to remove the threat of driver error while giving us more time to do things such as prepare for work in the morning.
Unfortunately, the public knowledge of driverless cars and the current safety status of the automobiles themselves is what holds the technology back from being truly great. Further assessments on the security level of the system should be completed before mass production of the vehicles for popular use. If we achieve absolute safety with these automobiles and ensure no crashes or hacking attempts could be made on the system, we could see ourselves continuing to move swiftly in the direction of realizing the future that The Jetsons had predicted.”
Congratulations again, Ethan! May all your dreams come true.