Monthly Archives: November 2013

How exactly can the autonomous drive influence our daily lives?

  1. Environmental friendly.

Autonomous vehicle can optimize the control signal so that the energy consumption is minimum, that’s just what we do in our thesis project.

  1. Better driving comfort

The autonomous vehicle can even make turns better than an experienced driver can do.

  1. Elimination of redundant passengers – If you are going to the airport, you don’t need to let your friend to drive you there and he drives back himself.(1) :from wikipedia
  2. Reduction in the need for traffic police (1) :from wikipedia
  3. Disable/old people can easily “drive” a car.
  4. You can free you hand and have a relaxing journey.
  5. Traffic jam can be avoid or at least improved by communication between vehilcles.
  6. “Perhaps most radically, personal cars could potentially be used like taxis, dropping their owners off at a location, driving home, and then picking them up again when called”(2)

……

But there is something which is not so perfect.

Do you think the driving skill of the future people who use the autonomous vehicle will be better? Perhaps not. Maybe vehicle driving will become something like a hobby- like some people enjoying riding the single wheel bicycle. Relying too much on the technology is a good thing a bad thing, that’s a question. According to the movie “WALL·E”, the future people are all really fat and are taken care by the machines- maybe things like that will happen, who knows?

 

Also an autonomous vehicle is under risk of system breakdown. The future murder can be that vehicle computer system is contaminated by the virus. If there are backdoors in the software which can be accessed by the hacker, we are in danger!

Reference.

(1)    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonomous_car

(2)    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/2013/05/are-we-ready-for-driverless-cars/

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philosophy point of view to see the autonomous vehicle- more about the ethics

There are more things to discuss once we go the ethics area. From the philosophy point of view, the autonomous vehicle becomes more interesting.First I will list this questions

  • Non-identity problem

This problems in fact is everywhere. According to the definition of Stanford encyclopedia of Philosophy  “If a person’s existence is unavoidably flawed, then the agent’s only alternatives to bringing that person into the flawed existence are to bring no one into existence at all or to bring a different person – a nonidentical but better off person – into existence in place of the person whose existence is flawed. “(1)

It actually means that every change you made may lead to the nonexistence of the future person. Choosing an autonomous vehicle may cause you marry a different women and have a different children as you should have. That is not fair to your children who should have been born in the situation that you are driving a normal car.

According to wikipedia, the definition is “There is a runaway trolley barrelling down the railway tracks. Ahead, on the tracks, there are five people tied up and unable to move. The trolley is headed straight for them. You are standing some distance off in the train yard, next to a lever. If you pull this lever, the trolley will switch to a different set of tracks. Unfortunately, you notice that there is one person on the side track. You have two options: (1) Do nothing, and the trolley kills the five people on the main track. (2) Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person. “(2)

Imagine that your vehicle meet this situation: You have to choose hit on 5 person on the narrow road or hit the tree side by the road- this action may kill yourself but will definitely save 5 lives. There is no option 3.How should the computer choose? It’s even a hard problem for a human, can a computer give us a satisfactory answer to that?

  • buttery effect

What if you use the autonomous vehicle and avoid hitting on the person. But 10 years later, this person becomes another  Hitler? The chain effect is not predictable.

(But personally, I extremely dislike the Non-identity problem. In this logic, everything we do may be “wrong” because this will influence the future and may let you have a different child. Considering this problem is nonsense. I really don’t know why philosophy guys are interested into this problem. Same for the butterfly effect.I really think the trolley problem is quite important.)

reference

(1)http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nonidentity-problem/

(2)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolley_problem

(3)This web site give me a lot of ideas to write this blog

http://gas2.org/2013/09/17/the-ethics-of-the-google-driverless-cars/

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