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Road Technology: Lay-up Versus 3-point Hook Shot

Jul 11, 2018

With the NBA finals in the rearview mirror, it seemed like a good time to compare shot choice and its impact on the game with driving technology.  A natural comparison, right? Well, players do drive the lane and we do drive on the roads, so, close enough.

The issue is about fundamentals versus the exciting option. 

Let’s look at basketball. 

NBA players don’t start off knocking down a 23 foot 3-point hook shot on day one. They started at a young age learning the fundamentals. Balance, grip, stance, delivery and follow through all play a crucial role in the accuracy of a shot. Basketball players start with the layup, mastering the basics, then move to the more exciting distance shots.

Now to driving.

Over the last few years, there has been a lot of new developments in driving technology.  Michigan has the PlanetM effort and is also home to the American Center for Mobility, both focused on maximizing the future of this technology.  A couple years ago, Senator Mike Kowall successfully led, and Governor Rick Snyder signed, a package of bills making Michigan a friendly state in which to test autonomous vehicle technology.

With any new field, especially involving technology, there is a specialized language.  One such phrase is “vehicle-to-vehicle” (V2V) technology.  This refers to the ability of cars to communicate with each other to improve safety and traffic flow.

But before we get there, can we focus on the lay-up of road technology?  It’s called paint lines.  I recently purchased a new car with a number of driver-assist features operating off of cameras and sensors.  For at least one of the features, the technology relies on the paint lines.  It’s been an eye-opener how often this feature doesn’t work given the poor condition of so many paint lines across Michigan. 

In just under one month, I’ve driven 2,200 miles in Michigan, in most regions of the state, and have seen that the problem is everywhere.  Before we get too excited about Jetson-age road technology can we get the lines on the road painted so drivers can capitalize on today’s driving technology?  Because if we can’t get the fundamentals of the transportation game right, can we properly implement the exciting 3-point hook-shot road technology?

Michigan Legislative Consultants is a bipartisan lobbying firm based in Lansing, Michigan. Our team of lobbyists and procurement specialists provide a wide range of services for some of the most respected companies in America. For more on MLC, visit www.mlcmi.com or connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.