Product Innovation Trends

Powering Possibilities

My twin boys may never need to learn how to drive

Possibilities
Jeremy Myrland, Product Marketing Manager at Jama Software

The possibilities being unlocked with new technology in automotive feels endless to me right now. The concept of fully autonomous cars has been on my mind a lot lately.  I have twin boys coming this month and thinking about the fact that they may never need to learn how to drive is both exciting and a little disappointing. While I think it would be great if I never have to be stressed out about my kids being stupid behind the wheel, I’m sad to be missing out on those father/son bonding moments (and fear of death).

Learning how to drive is such an awesome experience. It represents so much in our lives. It’s the transition into adulthood – a time for learning how to take risk, push boundaries and be faced with the consequences of our actions. What is going to replace all of these experiences for my kids? There’s the very valid argument, at least here in the U.S., that driving is too much a part of our cultural DNA to ever be fully taken away.

Even with all the practical reasons to embrace autonomous cars – the end of crash related deaths, no more traffic jams and never having to worry about drinking a couple cocktails at dinner, I just don’t know if I’m ready to give up the emotional connection I have to the actual act of driving. I’m definitely not ready to think about not getting to experience teaching my kids how to drive.  I’m afraid that with autonomous driving, we risk not realizing what we really have until it’s gone.

In the requirements management space, we are constantly looking at the functional aspects for building new products. Impossible products aren’t created simply on the back of a great idea – they require profound, coordinated execution across teams, disciplines, methodologies and competing priorities. These are the challenges we help solve every day and they’re really complex, but they feel easy in comparison to finding the replacement for that emotional role cars play.

Many heading to the SAE World Congress tomorrow in Detroit will relate. The theme this year is Powering Possibilities and Jama is participating in the event. Its theme really stood out to me since it matches so well with Jama’s Vision: To Make Possible the Impossible Products of the Future. I’m very interested to hear what ideas people have.