How Should Autonomous Vehicles Make Moral Decisions? Machine Ethics, Artificial Driving Intelligence, and Crash Algorithms.
Autonomous vehicles constitute an essential disruptor in the subsequent technology upheaval, but the chief obstacle to acceptance is the absence of public trust. (Kaur and Rampersad, 2018) Driverless cars will confront inevitable crashes, and the algorithms in the means of transport's on-board computers will bring about some innocent individual being chosen as the injured party of the collision. (Cowger, 2018) A significant amount of robotic agents will be introduced into a sphere of human activity where the risk factors are considerable whenever there are accidents. (Nyholm and Smids, 2018)
2. Conceptual Framework and Literature Review
The capacity of the autonomous vehicles to satisfy performance requirements and their soundness represent relevant adoption drivers. (Kaur and Rampersad, 2018) Driverless cars advance innovative routes for transportability and have economic and societal upsides, but there are controversies as to the degree of their strong points and their casual ramifications. (Taeihagh and Lim, 2019) The broad proliferation of driverless cars will cause hybrid traffic, encompassing both autonomous vehicles and conventional ones, the former seemingly featuring various levels and kinds of automation, being configured to operate in optimizing manners, and being inflexible rule-followers. (Nyholm and Smids, 2018)
3. Methodology and Empirical Analysis
Building my argument by drawing on data collected from AUVSI, Ipsos, Nature, Pew Research Center, Perkins Coie, Statista, and YouGov, I performed analyses and made estimates regarding U.S. adults who say they would/would not want to ride in a driverless vehicle (%), statements closest to international drivers' opinion (I am in favor of self-driving cars and cannot wait to use them/I am unsure about self-driving cars, but I find the idea interesting/I am against self-driving cars and would never use them), U.S. adults that would feel (un)safe as a pedestrian in a city with self-driving cars (%), countries that are most prepared for autonomous vehicles (policy and legislation, technology and innovation, infrastructure, and consumer acceptance), and the top data infrastructure requirements in smart cities to facilitate autonomous vehicle testing (wireless connectivity to other cars, parking meters, traffic lights and other smart infrastructure, wireless connectivity to nearby towers/antennas, and data centers to perform analytics on large volumes of data received from vehicles). The data for this research were gathered via an online survey questionnaire and were analyzed through structural equation modeling on a sample of 5,400 respondents.
4. Results and Discussion
As fully driverless cars have not been advanced, their efficiency is hard to forecast. (Kaur and Rampersad, 2018) Autonomous vehicle-related safety threats may occur from the hardly vigilant attitude of car occupants and road users, system flaws, and the absence of standardization of crash algorithms that influence life or death circumstances throughout unavoidable accidents. (Taeihagh and Lim, 2019) As humans drive in a reasonable manner, and are adjustable rule-benders, hybrid traffic will result in diverse human-robot harmonization concerns, which may lead to unpredictable situations and cause crashes and accidents. (Nyholm and Smids, 2018) (Tables 1-6)
5. Conclusions and Implications
The crash algorithms of self-driving vehicles should curtail social harm. (Coca-Vila, 2018) Even in a flawlessly conceived and completely failureproof self-driving system (Carter and Yeo, 2018; Chessell, 2018; Jouet, 2018; Katz, 2018; Lazaroiu, 2018; Lukasik et al., 2017; Moser, 2017; Nica, 2018; Pilkington, 2018; Popescu Ljungholm, 2018; Popescu, 2018; Smith and Stirling, 2018), some collisions will be inevitable, especially as autonomous cars will be set in motion together with means of transport with human drivers, and in zones also populated by persons on foot and cyclists. (Hubner and White, 2018) As any malfunction of a component or sensor may generate a devastating accident or crash, autonomous driving should have outstanding performance preconditions. (Kaur and Rampersad, 2018)
We are grateful to the three anonymous reviewers for their useful comments on an earlier version of this article.
This paper was supported by Grant GE-1267842 from the Center for Economic Performance at CSA, Canberra.
The author confirms being the sole contributor of this work and approved it for publication.
Conflict of Interest Statement
The author declares that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.
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The Center for Labor Research and Education
at AAER, Chicago, IL, USA
How to cite: Rowthorn, Michael (2019). "How Should Autonomous Vehicles Make Moral Decisions? Machine Ethics, Artificial Driving Intelligence, and Crash Algorithms," Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice 11(1): 9-14. doi:10.22381/CRLSJ11120191
Received 2 March 2019 * Received in revised form 10 July 2019
Accepted 12 July 2019 * Available online 15 July 2019
Table 1 Statements closest to international drivers' opinion I am in favor I am unsure about I am against of self-driving self driving cars, self driving cars and can't but I find the idea cars and would wait to use them interesting never use them Argentina 20 68 12 Belgium 26 57 17 Mexico 28 56 14 Poland 21 66 13 Russia 22 68 10 Saudi Arabia 23 64 13 South Africa 27 56 17 South Korea 20 61 19 Sweden 24 56 20 Turkey 27 57 16 Hungary 23 64 13 Australia 20 66 14 Brazil 21 60 19 Canada 29 53 18 China 24 65 11 France 26 62 12 Germany 23 60 17 Great Britain 20 70 10 India 24 64 12 Italy 28 56 16 Japan 23 59 18 Spain 24 62 14 United States 29 58 13 Peru 21 62 17 Chile 20 69 11 Colombia 27 60 13 Malaysia 28 54 18 Serbia 22 67 11 Sources: Ipsos; my survey among 23,800 individuals conducted December 2018. Table 2 % of U.S. adults that would feel (un)safe as a pedestrian in a city with self-driving cars 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55+ Very safe 17 15 12 9 5 Somewhat safe 35 31 25 20 16 Somewhat unsafe 34 37 41 44 47 Very unsafe 14 17 22 27 32 Sources: YouGov; Statista; my survey among 5,400 individuals conducted December 2018. Table 3 Countries that are most prepared for autonomous vehicles Country Policy and Technology and Infrastructure legislation innovation The Netherlands 9 8 11 Singapore 9 7 9 United States 8 9 8 Sweden 8 8 7 United Kingdom 8 7 7 Germany 9 8 7 Canada 9 6 7 United Arab Emirates 8 6 8 New Zealand 9 6 7 South Korea 8 6 9 Japan 8 7 10 Austria 9 5 8 France 8 6 8 Australia 8 5 8 Spain 7 4 7 China 6 4 7 Brazil 3 3 5 Russia 5 1 3 Mexico 3 2 5 India 4 1 6 Country Consumer acceptance The Netherlands 9 Singapore 9 United States 8 Sweden 7 United Kingdom 8 Germany 6 Canada 8 United Arab Emirates 7 New Zealand 8 South Korea 7 Japan 5 Austria 7 France 7 Australia 7 Spain 5 China 5 Brazil 7 Russia 4 Mexico 4 India 3 Sources: Nature; my 2019 data. Table 4 Please select whether federal or state regulatory authorities are more likely to have oversight responsibilities for each of the following tasks Federal State Regulators Regulators Design, construction and performance 79 21 of autonomous vehicles Licensing 40 60 Training 41 59 Liability issues including insurance 48 62 Traffic safety 47 53 Sources: AUVSI; Perkins Coie; my survey among 5,400 individuals conducted December 2018. Table 5 The top data infrastructure requirements in smart cities to facilitate autonomous vehicle testing Wireless connectivity to other cars, parking meters, 64 traffic lights and other smart infrastructure Wireless connectivity to nearby towers/antennas 59 Data centers to perform analytics on large volumes 54 of data received from vehicles Sources: AUVSI; Perkins Coie; my survey among 5,400 individuals conducted December 2018. Table 6 U.S. adults who say they would/would not want to ride in a driverless vehicle (%) Among those who say yes, % who give these as the main reasons Just for the experience/Think it would be cool 32 Would be safer 19 Can do other things while driving 14 Less stressful than driving 11 Greater independence 8 Convenience 7 Good for long trips 6 Other 3 Among those who say no, % who give these as the main reasons Don't trust it/Worried about giving up control 38 Safety concerns 34 Enjoy driving 11 Feel technology is not ready 9 Potential for hacking 6 Other 2 Sources: Pew Research Center; my survey among 5,400 individuals conducted December 2018.
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|Publication:||Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice|
|Date:||Jul 1, 2019|
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