Gone Too Far?

Dec. 3, 2019

A recent story from Florida tells of a man who was reportedly driving a Tesla at high speed when the vehicle veered off the road and crashed. The Tesla burst into flames.  People at the scene rushed to open the vehicle door and remove the unconscious driver.  However, this Tesla model has door handles which disappear into the exterior door panel while the vehicle is being driven.  The door could not be opened and the driver met his demise.

In a parallel story,  one 2020 Cadillac model will have rigid outer door handles  A rubber flap is hidden behind the door handles.  As owners approaches their vehicle, the rubber flap is electronically energized by the owners' fob and the flap can then be used to open the door.  At all other times the flap is non-operative.   

One of the presidential political contestants in this election cycle is using his platform to warn of how automation will affect the entire population.  I can personally confirm my observations concerning automation. While on a factory visit to a lock company in Europe several years ago I watched a group of workers seated around a  large table while assembling mortise locksets as quickly as humanly possible. Nearby was a circular table equipped with robotic arms which could assemble the same mortise locks twice as fast.  Robots require no lunch breaks or health insurance.  Obviously at some point manufacturers will see that automation has practical virtues.

Pictures from the early days of automotive manufacturing show hundreds of employees working on assembly lines. That is less the case today as automation takes over. In like fashion, mechanical products of every kind are  being replaced by non-mechanical inventions such as the Tesla and Cadillac examples discussed above. One thing is for sure. Security in one form or another will always be needed. While it may seem that automation has gone too far, the trick for all of us is the follow the bouncing ball and keep ahead of all the changes.