A highway in the mountains

 

Written by Jacob Terranova

 

This is the second part in a series where we will explore new trends and ideas, their possible impact on funeral homes, as well as the opinions funeral directors have about the future of funerals. Read part one here.

 

A funeral procession that drives itself — sounds weird, right? But it might be an ordinary part of funerals in the future.

 

Funeral processions are a tradition that’s been around for thousands of years and gone through several changes. With technology rapidly evolving, what does that mean for our funeral processions now?

 

The Procession

As of now, self-driving cars or autonomous automobiles are only legal in a handful of states and Washington D.C. Other states are rapidly working on legislation to meet the quickly evolving technology. Business Insider suggests that by 2020, there will be 10 million self-driving cars on the road.

 

A self-driving car is a car that uses software to drive, follow traffic laws, and interact and adapt to driving conditions, all with little to no input from the driver themselves. Google has been making big pushes for self-driving cars since 2010, and now other car companies are getting in the game. Mercedes, BMW, and Tesla all have started testing self-driving technology in cars.

 

Safety is the driving force behind these innovations. Google believes that if everyone is using a self-driving car, the roads would be a lot safer.

 

Google found that 94% of accidents are caused by human error. Take out the human element, and you reduce the chance of an accident.

 

Self-driving cars would make perfect sense for a funeral procession, a tradition that has become increasingly dangerous. There are inconsistent laws for how funeral processions work in each state, so families visiting from out of state might not be aware of the differences. In addition to that, drivers not in the funeral procession don’t have the patience to wait and can cause accidents for a procession.

 

By taking the driver out of the funeral procession, would the tradition become safer? Would safer funeral processions mean more families would be open to having one?

 

The Hearse

And what about the funeral coach? What would a self-driven hearse of the future look like?

 

A non-profit design firm, Imaginactive, wondered the same thing. They came up with the Korbiyor, a driverless hearse with a transparent coffin for viewing the deceased.

 

Ipad-Korbiyor-7-696x492

 

The Korbiyor is an interesting concept, if not a little bit “out there.” The hearse could be remotely controlled or have a pre-programmed route with a set speed.

 

The hearse would also feature a multimedia player to project images or videos, as well as speakers to play music for the procession. Families and friends can follow the hearse as it heads to the cemetery, or even stand along the side and watch a procession go by.

 

While it remains just a concept project, it’s an interesting way to see how our traditions can evolve.

 

The Ever-Changing Procession

The funeral procession has gone through a lot of interpretations. Early funeral processions consisted simply of mourners on feet and a funeral bier. Others were horse-drawn buggies and carriages. Different societies also add their own traditions to the funeral procession.

 

Despite all the changes, funeral processions are a timeless tradition. It’s a respectful way to honor the life of the deceased. With processions falling out of public favor, maybe a fresh dose of technology is exactly what the funeral procession needs right now.

 

What are your thoughts on self-driven funeral processions? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Want to see how technology can be used to enhance other funeral traditions? Set up a live demo with your own funeral consultant, or give us a call at 866-372-9372.