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House of Progress: An automotive approach to Digitalization

House of Progress: An automotive approach to Digitalization

As technology continues to advance at lightspeed into the future, the automotive industry has seen a shift in the movement toward adopting more Artificial Intelligence processes. With this drive toward digitalization in our modern world, it’s important to keep people at the center of every concept, design, and product. On October 16th, four expert panelists met in Montreal for the first House of Progress panel in Canada to discuss technology and human centricity. From their deliberation, one thing was certain, the future is electric, as the new Audi Grandsphere acted as a perfect backdrop behind the experts in attendance. The future is shaped with bold ideas, and three thought leaders joined forces at the panel to discuss what this means for the future.

The panel was led by Geoffrey Bernard, Vice-President, Marketing, Data & Consumer Insights at La Presse: Nino Di Cara, Founder and president of Electric Autonomy Canada and Miriam Korte, an AI Facilitator and Coach. The three panelists brought their personal expertise to a conversation surrounding the importance of human centricity and the continuous progress that has and is yet to come. The conversation touched on a variety of very important considerations; however, one very important question came to the forefront: What is the relationship between humans and technology?

According to Nino, humans have a condition to lean into technology. These days, technology is more about digitization, the frontier of where technological advances is happening.

“When you have communication virtually through social media and email, you believe your talking to that person,” Nino said, “Over time, we have embraced the relationship with technology. However, it can sometimes be a challenge to get on the page to adopt it, sometimes the technology is ahead of us.”

According to Miriam, the relationship between person and technology is neither good or bad, it depends on what we’re doing with it. We must continue to receive information in an ethical way and be present and considerate in what we are consuming. Consent must be explained transparently to users of technology so they understand how their information is being used and shared. By following these guidelines, the relationship between companies and people can be trusted and beneficial.

According to Geoffrey, technology is an extension of us. The adjustment from autonomous to non-autonomous vehicles and transition to new ways of driving can be destabilizing at first.

“AI can evolve very quickly,” he explained, “but you have to bring humans up to it as well, so the user doesn’t feel destabilized in an environment where things have changed.”

For Nino, he sees incredibly benefit for human and technology in terms of how it can help us.

“In terms of mobility, I think what’s really exciting about technology now is that it can really help, the traditional early adopters are the young and rich, but when you look at things like autonomy, the early adopters we should be making solutions for are people like seniors or people with disabilities,” he explains, “Its going to be really important for us.”

According to Nino, we are currently at a level 2 or 3 out of 5 when it comes to car autonomy.

“We have a supervising role” Nino said, “Technology does the breaking and steering for us, taking some pressure off, but we have to be more attentive as the supervisor.”

As a supervisor, this puts almost more pressure, trust and attention on the driver. Currently, very few, if any, automobiles are allowed to operate at the highest level of autonomy. This will require a new level of trust between humans and technology.

With technology all around us, integrated into our everyday life and continuing to enter new spaces we hadn’t considered before, how do we stay connected while also staying present? This is something we will continue to explore as technology advances into the future.

Click below to watch Audi’s House of Progress discussion surrounding Digitalization and human centricity.

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