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Self-driving/autonomous cars

Lensman

Premium Member
Original Poster
Half-in jest, I mentioned on the Gondola Thread that we should create a separate thread for each off-topic subthread that veers the Gondola Thread away from discussing the Skyliner. Additionally, we could use this thread to actively discuss self-driving car technology.

I'll try to keep an index of the key development in the thread here in the first few posts.
 

Lensman

Premium Member
Original Poster
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Lensman

Premium Member
Original Poster
Here's the off-topic discussion starter from the Gondola Thread.
Tesla is supposed to have full self driving and taxi mode available next year. Problem solved.
Boring.

I have no plans to trust my life to a self driving automobile anytime soon.

Or an electric car there's been way too many incidents of uncontrollable fire when they get in accidents.

I just worry that some day human driven vehicles and vehicle ownership will be made illegal ( but that's a discussion for a different forum)
We all take that chance whenever we ride the Tower of Terror. We put our navigational trust in computers. We rely on it to follow the path and, more importantly, connect properly in the elevator shaft. Test Track as well, however, to a more limited degree since the steering is mechanical. But, if that computer decideds to go full speed in the enternal part of the ride... we would be a mangled mess. Or how about GMR or Energy.

That said, I agree with it being a long time before driver-less cars will be trusted. Mainly because there are cars with actual human drivers out there.. If I recall just about all accidents are cause by those with drivers now, and I don't see that stopping. The ability to program reactions for every single scenario is very close to impossible to anticipate since humans are highly creative when it comes to dumb moves.
I see "self driving cars only" lanes coming
 
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Bender123

Well-Known Member
Hey....mine isn't even about self driving cars...its about how efficiency is measured. "Car" is a term that just means any self contained transport option.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
Who's gonna pay for that in an enlarged scare that would be necessary to make it happen. Are they barricaded so none of the other traffic can get to them. Would they have to be one destination only or like bus stops. How will anyone get a culture that has been built on mobility to give up the freedom on their own vehicles. Listen, I'm almost 71 years old, so no matter what they do, I will not be around to see it, however, human/cultural nature is not all that easy to change especially if it is going to cost big bucks to make that unwanted, by the majority, change.
 
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Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
Here's the off-topic discussion starter from the Gondola Thread.
You're correct... I have moved mine to here. I think I did that before you started this thread, but, either way, it really shouldn't have been discussed in the gondola area since they are attached to a cable and are not likely to run into any oncoming traffic on the same line.
 

Lensman

Premium Member
Original Poster
Hey....mine isn't even about self driving cars...its about how efficiency is measured. "Car" is a term that just means any self contained transport option.
Ooops, I think your post just got caught up because it was in my multiquote queue. I deleted it from the starting quotes. :)
 

scorp16

Well-Known Member
Here's my issue/question/worry about autonomous cars. The AI they will utilize will be able to make life and death decisions. Let's say you are driving and a situation arises where the car must make a decision. How is that calculated?

One scenario - god forbid you are driving one night on a dimly lit, narrow road alongside a canal and a stranded motorist or pedestrian steps out in front of the car with very little time to react. There will be several choices that can be made. Immediate breaking, swerving and trying to avoid the individual, hitting the individual, sacrificing yourself for the safety of the individual.

But let's say for argument's sake the situation comes down to either hitting the pedestrian or sacrificing yourself by plunging into a canal? What goes into making that decision that the car must now make in a matter of seconds (and that you have no input in).

I'm not against autonomous cars. On the contrary. There's just a few things I'd like to be clearer about.
 

Lensman

Premium Member
Original Poster
Here's my issue/question/worry about autonomous cars. The AI they will utilize will be able to make life and death decisions. Let's say you are driving and a situation arises where the car must make a decision. How is that calculated?

One scenario - god forbid you are driving one night on a dimly lit, narrow road alongside a canal and a stranded motorist or pedestrian steps out in front of the car with very little time to react. There will be several choices that can be made. Immediate breaking, swerving and trying to avoid the individual, hitting the individual, sacrificing yourself for the safety of the individual.

But let's say for argument's sake the situation comes down to either hitting the pedestrian or sacrificing yourself by plunging into a canal? What goes into making that decision that the car must now make in a matter of seconds (and that you have no input in).

I'm not against autonomous cars. On the contrary. There's just a few things I'd like to be clearer about.
Great topic! I struggle with this myself.

This paper* describes these situations in detail in section 4.2.2 Self-Sacrifice, on page 75. The paper doesn't delve into the details of addressing self-sacrificial programming, but does have this to say:
Thus, reasonable ethical principles—e.g., aiming to save the greatest number of lives— can be stressed in the context of autonomous driving. An operator of an autonomous vehicle, rightly or not, may very well value his own life over that of everyone else’s, even that of 29 others; or he may even explicitly reject consequentialism. Even if consequentialism is the best ethical theory and the car’s moral calculations are correct, the problem may not be with the ethics but with a lack of discussion about ethics. Industry, therefore, may do well to have such a discussion and set expectations with the public. Users—and news headlines—may likely be more forgiving if it is explained in advance that self-sacrifice may be a justified feature, not a bug.
You may also be interested the section on Ducking Harm, which mentions a semi-truck barreling towards you from the rear while you are stopped at an intersection waiting for children to cross in front of you. Note: They need to ask my advice, which is, "Lay on the horn, yell at the kids to get out of the way of the truck, and inch forward to turn right", That is, unless you have room to pull a reverse u-turn into the opposing traffic lanes. Thank goodness we'll have years to come up with all the scenarios and decide on the best strategies rather than the split seconds each of has now for these infrequent emergency situations.

These are interesting moral dilemmas for individuals as well as the people in industry designing autonomous driving algorithms.

The way I sometimes rationalize it is that it's like riding in a taxi or Uber/Lyft rideshare. The driver will make their own decision about these issues based on their moral compass. I'm hopeful that autonomous vehicle providers will be more transparent about their morality settings than my rideshare driver. For that matter, it is similar to putting your life into the hands of your Disney bus driver. @Driver, I have complete confidence in you!

I also wonder if some amount of randomness could help, as it would:
1. Remove the ethical dilemma provided by absolute determinism.
2. To some, put the choice in "the hand of fate" or "the hand of God".
3. Provide more feedback to the AI to determine which choice saves more lives in the future.

Have you heard of the Trolley Problem? It is a thought experiment in ethics. Wikipedia has a decent write-up of it:

* In case the link becomes obsolete, it was Autonomous Driving Technical, Legal and Social Aspects edited by Markus Maurer, J. Christian Gerdes, Barbara Lenz, and Hermann Winner
 
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Driver

Well-Known Member
Great topic! I struggle with this myself.

This paper* describes these situations in detail in section 4.2.2 Self-Sacrifice, on page 75. The paper doesn't delve into the details of addressing self-sacrificial programming, but does have this to say:


You may also be interested the section on Ducking Harm, which mentions a semi-truck barreling towards you from the rear while you are stopped at an intersection waiting for children to cross in front of you. Note: They need to ask my advice, which is, "Lay on the horn, yell at the kids to get out of the way of the truck, and inch forward to turn right", That is, unless you have room to pull a reverse u-turn into the opposing traffic lanes. Thank goodness we'll have years to come up with all the scenarios and decide on the best strategies rather than the split seconds each of has now for these infrequent emergency situations.

These are interesting moral dilemmas for individuals as well as the people in industry designing autonomous driving algorithms.

The way I sometimes rationalize it is that it's like riding in a taxi or Uber/Lyft rideshare. The driver will make their own decision about these issues based on their moral compass. I'm hopeful that autonomous vehicle providers will be more transparent about their morality settings than my rideshare driver. For that matter, it is similar to putting your life into the hands of your Disney bus driver. @Driver, I have complete confidence in you!

I also wonder if some amount of randomness could help, as it would:
1. Remove the ethical dilemma provided by absolute determinism.
2. To some, put the choice in "the hand of fate" or "the hand of God".
3. Provide more feedback to the AI to determine which choice saves more lives in the future.

Have you heard of the Trolley Problem? It is a thought experiment in ethics. Wikipedia has a decent write-up of it:

* In case the link becomes obsolete, it was Autonomous Driving Technical, Legal and Social Aspects edited by Markus Maurer, J. Christian Gerdes, Barbara Lenz, and Hermann Winner
I thank you for your confidence in my driving skills. I take it very seriously I know people's lives are in my hands it's no joke. And if it's of any interest, on occasion management will set up unannounced surprise safety checks for drivers, I am happy to say I pass every time! 😊
 
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