Are self driving cars worth all the ethical problems they cause?

Hi! I'm so excited to be posting my first post! Since I am new to all this, any advice is appreciated. Thanks

I had a lot of ideas for my inquiry question, and I just couldn't pick one. Finally, I decided to go with something more science related. I chose to research self driving cars, particularly the ethical dilemmas that they cause.

 

Replacing regular cars with self driving cars seems like a thing of the future, but it's a lot closer than it seems. Many people are embracing the change, but there are many potential problems to self driving cars. It all comes down to this question: who is the car designed to protect? When a person is driving, in the event of an emergency, they can chose to protect themselves even if a pedestrian gets hurt, or protect the pedestrian even if they get hurt. When you are driving, you make the choice. Self driving cars come programed, so the choice is no longer the driver's. The car is programed to make a certain choice, though it might not be the right choice for every situation. 

 

I want to look into this because I'm afraid that people are too excited about self driving cars and they are looking over the fact that there are still so many potential problems that they shouldn't overlook. It's important that people are aware of these issues before we start using these cars. 

 

In my first round of research, I will be researching the problems surrounding self driving cars (particularly ethical problems) because I want to make sure that I am fully aware of all the problems before starting my second round.

https://www.technologyreview.c...-programmed-to-kill/ 

https://news.stanford.edu/2017...riving-cars-present/

www.socializingai.com/mit-prof...s-self-driving-cars/

https://axleaddict.com/safety/...One-Is-Talking-About

https://www.cars.com/articles/...ivers-1420692364753/

 

In my second round of research, I will be looking at how self driving cars are programed and built in order to see how engineers are trying to solve the problems.  

https://qz.com/1204395/self-dr...o-solve-the-problem/

 

Lastly, in my third round of research, I will be looking at what are the pros of having self driving cars, because this will help me answer my big question: are self driving cars worth all the trouble? 

https://www.autoinsurancecente...elf-driving-cars.htm

https://www.forbes.com/sites/m...g-cars/#30fe237b3273

https://www.inverse.com/articl...of-self-driving-cars

 

I had some trouble finding sources for my second round of research, so if anyone comes across any websites I could use please let me know, it would be greatly appreciated. And as I mentioned before, any other comments are great too

Original Post

Hi Jasmine,

Great first post! I've heard talk about self-driving vehicles and the problems we face moving forward with this technology, specifically the ethical issues they raise. I've always wondered myself what a self-driving car would do in a scenario that they can't avoid, where at least someone has to die or get injured, and it has to choose between say the occupant(s) and the pedestrian(s). With humans, at least we can say it was just human error, or that they had no time to think and that they did what they thought was best at the moment, and they won't be judged too harshly. But when a car is programmed to make a certain decision, things get tricky in terms of what people's morals are and what they think is the right decision for a car to make in any possible scenario like that. Maybe you could do a survey to see what people on butterfly effect think about it? Just an idea.

I look forward to reading what you find!

Here are some websites you can use:

https://www.theglobeandmail.co...ars/article37803470/

https://www.theguardian.com/te...and-how-do-they-work

And here is a website that you might find useful for your second round of research:

https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/...onomous-car-program/

Good luck!

Hi Jasmine!

Your project plan looks great! I think that there are so many ups and downs of self driving cars so it's hard to pick one side. For an example, self driving cars could easily help people with disabilities get around easier. But what would happen if a self driving car were to get into an accident? Technically the vehicle occupant isn't responsible so would it be the manufacturer who is responsible?  It's a little hard to decide who would be at fault and the details like that.  

Here are some websites to help with your second research round as you mentioned you needed websites for that one:

https://www.usatoday.com/story...s-electric/90614734/

https://www.businessinsider.co...ing-emergency-2016-7

Good luck!

Hey Jasmine,

I like where you're going with your research this cycle! I particularly enjoy that you're such a relevant and modern topic that I think people don't fully understand the graveness and closeness of. I'm quite interested, particularly, in reading what you find about the development of self-driven cars. I think it would be neat if you looked into some of the "brothers" of self-driven cars (self-piloted planes, self-driven buses, the skytrain) and compared the graveness or danger levels of each.

Here are a couple sites you could use for your first research round:
https://www.smithslawyers.com....driving-car-problems
https://www.chicagotribune.com...-20180409-story.html

Good luck! I look forward to reading what you find
-Joanna

Hey Jazzy 

Great topic and well organized research plan. At first it sound like fun having a self driving car but you are right it does raise some questions.  Here is another one,  what about environmental impact? If we are looking at climate change and want people to look at alternate forms of transportation should we be promoting self driving cars that may increase car use. What is the risk to the climate and environmental impact?  Just another twist.

Here is a couple of site you may want to look at.

http://time.com/4476614/self-d...ng-cars-environment/

https://link.springer.com/arti...07/s40518-015-0038-5

 

This is such a great inquiry question. With the world of technology growing as it is, it is ignorant to turn a blind eye to issues like those of self-driving cars. As we speak, some car brands like Tesla have already released models that have that self-driving capability. 

Automated cars truly raise a lot of questions, ethical and scientific ones too. Kaley's idea about how they would influence the environment is truly a good one. My concern is the effect of the introduction of these machines on roads where there still are human driven cars. What would be the implications? Would they require special facilities like lanes? How would accidents involving normal and self-driving cars be arbitrated? These are issues that would be important to look into.

About your second round, here are some links that should help you out.

http://theconversation.com/are...-human-drivers-90202

 https://www.nhtsa.gov/technolo...ated-vehicles-safety

Good luck with your inquiry, looking forward to seeing more of it.

Hey Jazzy

Great topic and well organized research plan. At first it sound like fun having a self driving car but you are right it does raise some questions.  Here is another one, what about environmental impact? If we are looking at climate change and want people to look at alternate forms of transportation should we be promoting self driving cars that may increase car use. What is the risk to the climate and environmental impact?  Just another twist. Look forward to reading more.

Here is a couple of site you may want to look at.

http://time.com/4476614/self-d...ng-cars-environment/

https://link.springer.com/arti...07/s40518-015-0038-5

Hi Jasmine!

The topic you chose is great and you really touched base on every aspect you are going to discuss on for your next rounds of research! I never really thought of the impact of self-driving cars until now, and it has really interested me. You're right, these types of cars come with various advantages and disadvantages. An advantage being the driver doesn't have to as much work as driving a regular car, but a disadvantage being that the car might not do the right thing in an accident. I found some sources that might be useful for your second round of research: 

https://www.ucsusa.org/clean-v...rs-work#.W_B2ZVdlnVo 

https://robohub.org/how-do-self-driving-cars-work/ 

Best of luck Jasmine! 

 

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