We’ve grown accustomed to our surroundings over time, much of what is going on around us continues without our direct intervention and this often means we’re entirely oblivious to the fact that a small piece of technology could be the difference between a routine journey to work in the morning and a commute that becomes unfortunately newsworthy.
From the moment we leave our front door until the minute we reach our desks at work, the number of control systems that keep our lives running smoothly are innumerable and we pass or interact with them without concern.
As we leave the front door, many of us make use of a home security system to keep our homes and property safe and secure. Whilst all you need to do is type in your code when you leave in the morning and again when you arrive home in the evening, the system is working all day long monitoring sensors, differentiating between your next door neighbour’s cat and a genuine threat. The peace of mind you gain from this is rarely something you will consciously think about when away from your home.
After we leave our homes, many of us walk to a railway station and push tickets through the entry barriers to gain access. You’ll routinely pass through these barriers every day without thought, but in an emergency situation such as a fire alarm activation, control systems will cause the barriers to open immediately and allow everybody to exit safely. By leaving this task in the hands of somebody who has to react, mistakes can be made and people can be put at risk.
Hopefully, you’ll never see this happen.
For those who drive to work, the construction of your vehicle is the product of various control systems working closely together to produce not just a vehicle, but a vehicle with advanced safety features that don’t compromise on performance and comfort.
On boarding your train, the doors close behind you. A door that isn’t secure will prevent the train from moving thanks to control systems creating a failsafe situation that removes the risk of doors opening whilst the train is in motion, thus avoiding a potentially life-threatening situation for passengers. As the train moves past signals and is directed from track to track at high speed, electronic control systems throughout the network ensure this can be done safely and efficiently. This wouldn’t be achievable with human-only monitoring and intervention.
Arriving at the office, your key fob opens the front door which keeps the office secure, but much like the barriers at the train station they will open in the eventuality that an evacuation is required. You finally sit at your desk and don’t think once about the systems that got you there, a testament to how much control systems feature in ensuring a routine commute remains quite unremarkable