Technological advances revolutionize industrial processes, science, communications, and our way of life. However, developed societies have reached a stage in which the fascination with technological innovations often results in their indiscriminate consumption. In this paper, road traffic is used as a line of argument to demonstrate that the random introduction of technology does not imply benefits to society. Particularly, it is analyzed why some of the potential benefits of technological progress are lost in fields such as traffic monitoring, data handling, and traffic management, or in sustainable mobility initiatives, such as the introduction of electric vehicles or the implementation vehicle sharing projects. The risks faced in the future advent of autonomous vehicles are also discussed, and ideas for improvement suggested. A critical reflection on other transportation modes that are expected to be realized in the near future is included as well. The performed analysis evidences that the potential improvement in personal mobility will not become a reality if it exclusively relies on the latest technological devices, in line with consumers’ fantasies or economic interests. This is a statement that could be generalized to many other fields. The implementation/consumption of a particular technology should not be an objective in itself, but a tool to bring benefits to society.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.