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The Ethics of Saving Lives With Autonomous Cars Is Far Murkier Than You Think

This covers the topic rather nicely.

One of the most popular examples is the school-bus variant of the classic trolley problem in philosophy: On a narrow road, your robotic car detects an imminent head-on crash with a non-robotic vehicle — a school bus full of kids, or perhaps a carload of teenagers bent on playing “chicken” with you, knowing that your car is programmed to avoid crashes. Your car, naturally, swerves to avoid the crash, sending it into a ditch or a tree and killing you in the process.
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Oopsy Daisy...
-Stoic Joker (October 14, 2014, 03:10 PM)
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This is when it gets fun.  The guy in the driverless car is no fool.  He has paid a mechanic to install a hack that not only offers control back to the human driver, but WiFi hacks the computer in the aggressor car that the human behind the wheel thinks he controls.  A menu is presented with several options including jamming on the aggressor's brakes(bypassing the anti-lock/anti-skid systems) on selected wheels, taking over steering(veer the aggressor's car into the ditch) and for a bit extra playing something over the aggressor's radio as deemed appropriately sarcastic.  For the softhearted there's also an option to set off the aggressor's airbags before impact.  For real meanies an option to set off the airbags after the aggressor driver is deceased.  :)

Stoic Joker:
^Oh how I love dark humor.. :Thmbsup:

Not to mention guilty as charged, as I've already hacked the brain on my bike to kill the traction control that was pissing me off...(because sometimes I want the rear wheel to spin)...and etcetera.

^ :) :) :)

Google has been testing driverless cars for years. On real streets. In real traffic.  As far as I know, there have been no accidents/collisions.

(Though the law requires a human in the vehicle, behind the wheel in case anything goes wrong.)
-Deozaan (October 14, 2014, 01:15 PM)
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There have been incidents.  And though they state that they were not the fault of the car.. what else would you expect them to say when there is doubt?
-wraith808 (October 14, 2014, 02:14 PM)
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Two incidents. Once when the car was being driven manually and another when another driver rear-ended the driverless car. Of the two, one (being rear-ended) is clearly not the fault of the driverless car. The first one could be a cover up, but I doubt it.

In which case I still stand by my original statement of there being no accidents/collisions. I didn't think I needed to say it, but apparently I need to clarify that I meant no accidents/collisions where the driverless car was at fault.

I think the driverless cars have more to "fear" from other drivers/humans than we have to fear of them.

^Oh how I love dark humor.. :Thmbsup:

Not to mention guilty as charged, as I've already hacked the brain on my bike to kill the traction control that was pissing me off...(because sometimes I want the rear wheel to spin)...and etcetera.
-Stoic Joker (October 14, 2014, 05:02 PM)
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Guilty here too. The model of car I drive is known to have problems with the ABS equipment. ABS was an optional feature on that model, so I took a hammer to a couple of the ABS sensors and a bit of electrical tape to the fault lamp.

Since it was an optional feature on that model the inspection station does not fail the car for having a non-functional ABS lamp since the normal brake fault lamp works fine, as do the normal brakes.

I've been steadily re-plumbing the brakes to exclude the ABS equipment as the lines grow old and develop leaks. The most recent saw one of the rear wheels losing its proportioning valve.

Though on the flipside if I could find the right valve for it, I might put it back in. Simply because even without ABS, having the rear wheels pressure-limited so they do not lock up easily is still a controllability advantage. Its nice having a car that will always skid in an almost perfectly straight line when the brakes are stomped upon in bad weather.

When it comes to autonomous cars though, not with my money. Not now, not 10 years from now, in fact not until I am mostly cyborg and can direct link the car to supervise its guidance systems or respond to roadside situations as quickly as the computer could.

I've worked with machines too long to ever trust one with my life unless all of its operational details are visible and I can cross check its every decision on the fly by comparing it to measurements and observations. And since you can bet these driverless car systems will be a black boxed "It goes but we can't tell you how or why" sort of thing, they will never be seen as a good idea by me.


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