Automous Driving Vehicles

The New York Times had an article about self driving vehicles. In a senerio of an unavoidable accident between the vehicle and its passengers and a group of pedestrians. The study, through a host of surveys, found drivers would rather the vehicle protect the driver and passengers than swerve into an obsticle thus saving the pedestrians. The main question the article raised was how do we program a sense of morality into a computer program when our morals are not clear. We want to do the right thing so long as we are not adversely affected. The more interesting question to me would have been why the driver didn’t take control of the wheel or apply the brakes. Although in the survey that may not have been an option.

One of my stories takes place three years in the future and the cars do have an auto drive function. However in my story car and driver are not seperate enities where the car has complete control. More like the driver oversees the driving and if something comes up like the unavoidable accident the driver takes control. Traffic accidents are greatly reduced but not eliminated, long distance truck drivers have a self driving function and allow the driver to sleep and the truck would alert him if something came up. However in certain places this function wouldn’t work and the human driver maintains his job.

The main driving force behind my story’s auto driving system is the road being able to communicate with the vehicles. If a mile down the road a car was in the lane broke down, the road notifies the vehicles to begin slowing down and manuever around the obsticle. Or a car is making a left turn and there is on coming traffic, the vehicle would be notified to get out of harms way. One flaw that is mentioned is older classic vehicles that aren’t equipped with the auto drive function. In the story, corrivettes have been outlawed, I am still fleshing out the hows, whys and what fors. Older vehicle can be street legal as long as the driver pays an extra fee. Traffic control is handled by drones, ticketing, vehicle inspections, and traffic violations.

So what are your thoughts on self driving vehicles? Should we or shouldn’t we? Cheers on the last Friday night before Camp NaNoWriMo. james

Article link posted heree

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