Why new technology needs to be normalised to be successful

Which new format of transport will succeed in streamlining businesses in the real world? It may surprise people that our opinion is that it’s not the best product that will win the race to enhance travel, but it’s the best marketing ‘normalisation’ strategy. 

At Drive Daddy, we create transformable, lightweight, and autonomous vehicles. It’s a bit of a mouthful, but here's an elegant way of putting it: our unique technologies are designed to enhance movement for people and industries, offering unprecedented choices to streamline sustainable transport challenges. 

Since 2006, our multi award-winning and pioneering product, the RolleyGolf, has transformed movement on golf courses across the globe, offering both individuals and resorts the opportunity to capitalise from the world’s first walk-and-ride fold-away golf trolley.  

Using our success in the golf sector, we are now expanding our technologies to be used across many new industries, including marine, security and defence, healthcare, future cities, and many more future industrial/leisure applications. 

The impact of these transportation technologies is sometimes hidden, or overlooked by the rush to get to market – or make money. But who pays the price in the long run? Technology is meant to enhance our lives, so it's not simply about making a quick return.

Let's take a fascinating example of a product we loved – and may still love. The hoverboards (but not the Back To The Future version we all dream of!) the two or single-wheeled, self-balancing, portable person whizzer. 

We've come from the start-up world and, therefore, were quick to react when the boom of the hoverboard craze hit the world. Such great tech, but where are the challenges in such a simple solution to travel? 

Looking at their route to market, and not pointing the finger at one specific manufacturer, but they all seemed to opt for the star-studded celebrity endorsements route to push their marketing, aimed predominantly at the fashion savvy youthful world of 'Beliebers' and ‘RiRi’ enthusiasts. 

Read more: The tech that wiped out an entire industry 

Although this drew huge demand, and every man and his dog ignored the original patent holder, and started selling replicas of the original product literally out of the back of their vans. The product had the potential to establish itself as a snazzy new form or transport but its long-term success was curbed by its rush to an unsustainable market, where consumers could use the product where and however they liked.

Before long, the inevitable happened and the use of self-balancing vehicles was restricted in many places – and even outlawed in some countries. Sadly, regardless of such brilliant technology and the lust for freedom of travel, this product will now suffer a very long journey back to our streets, and may never make it back.

The sad question is can the general public be trusted with future travel technology such as the hoverboard? Are we ready? Are our streets and environments ready? Are we being educated on what it means to us? Well, the answer may be simpler than we expected.  

One way to ‘normalise’ such clever technology safely and stop us, the general public, from missing the greater opportunity, is to allow industries to show us how it's done. This may seem like a less cool way than Jamie Foxx riding a hoverboard on The Tonight Show, but you would be surprised at how much tech we use in our day-to-day lives that was produced primarily for defence, world comms, healthcare, social care etc.

Watching the local postman, or your home food delivery being transported or automated to your doorstep for a few years, and trusted brands slowly bringing in more familiar and practical products in to help our general needs, may just change the way our world moves. 

It gives you good food for thought, and we don't claim to have all the answers, but it's up to our tech-savvy generation to help old school industries to adopt clever technologies and market them in a way that won't let us take 'the biscuit'. 

We always think about traditions and our existing clients first, making sure that trends and quick win opportunities do not ruin the potential of the very clever technology we have. So the challenge is, how do we stay cutting edge and in the race without haphazardly interfering with people’s lives and businesses? 

This is a guest blog and may not represent the views of Virgin.com. Please see virgin.com/terms for more details. Thumbnail from gettyimages.

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