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3325 posts

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  Reply # 1420529 4-Nov-2015 10:50
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Paul1977:
reven:
ubergeeknz: Of course the cop-out option is that in this hypothetical extreme situation, the vehicle hands control to the human driver.


the human would have less time to make a decision and probably end up just crashing causing more harm.

only situations I can really think of that the car couldnt avoid are 
- things falling off the back of trucks etc
- rockslides etc

pedestrians, other cars etc the automated cars should have enough sensors (well the google one's definitely appear to) to be fully aware of these and safely avoid any issue.


I'm not sure I agree. I think the biggest hazard the self-driving car needs to deal with are all the unpredictable human-driven cars.




them seem to be able to handle that pretty well.  sure if someone just decides to smash into your side, theres not a lot you can do, but the SDC would see this before a human would, so could
- slow down
- speed up
- change lanes to avoid
- prepare to be hit

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  Reply # 1420531 4-Nov-2015 10:54
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ubergeeknz: Here's my prediction:

Self-drive cars will become main-stream.  First semi-auto (supervised) and then full auto, or maybe both at once for different circumstances.  It will take a good while as old vehicle stock is replaced by capable vehicles.

Nothing will happen for a while.  Once a critical mass is reached, vehicle safety will improve overall as self drive vehicles will generally drive within safe parameters, be more aware, not distracted, not in a hurry, etc, all the things which usually cause humans to have vehicle accidents.  Traffic should be better too since they won't be lane jumping, will better predict traffic flows, etc.

Then maybe there will be one of these weird and wonderful situations we are hypothesising, maybe a couple.  Swerve to avoid a person on the road, go over a blind cliff, or mow down some children due to unexpected road conditions (eg black ice) causing an inability to stop or steer. Bound to sooner or later, right?

It will be news for a week or two, maybe it will be considered a "scandal".  But everyone will move on when they realise it's an unsolvable problem, that a human would not have done better in all likelihood, and the benefits outweigh the downsides 100 to 1 or more.

Really, I think some are making a big deal out of nothing.  IMO if a vehicle is programmed and capable of avoiding 99% of accidents it will far outperform human drivers, even if in that 1% it manages to s**t the bed completely.


completely agree, but as a programmer you have to handle that situation. thats the what the discussion is about, you have to program instructions/logic for what the car should do but first you have to decide what that logic should be.

can't just leave

public void UnavoidableCrashScenario() {
throw new NotImplementedException();
}

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  Reply # 1420535 4-Nov-2015 10:59
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I honestly believe that autonomous vehicles on public roads is going to go horribly wrong. I hope I am wrong but my gut tells me different.

One fear I have is there will be some out there who believe they know better than the developers and will hack their vehicles with disastrous results.




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  Reply # 1420549 4-Nov-2015 11:06
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I would expect a self driving car's primary goal to be to protect its occupants.
I certainly would not own or ride in a car that was programmed to kill my family for "the greater good".








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  Reply # 1420550 4-Nov-2015 11:08
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reven:
Paul1977:
reven:
ubergeeknz: Of course the cop-out option is that in this hypothetical extreme situation, the vehicle hands control to the human driver.


the human would have less time to make a decision and probably end up just crashing causing more harm.

only situations I can really think of that the car couldnt avoid are 
- things falling off the back of trucks etc
- rockslides etc

pedestrians, other cars etc the automated cars should have enough sensors (well the google one's definitely appear to) to be fully aware of these and safely avoid any issue.


I'm not sure I agree. I think the biggest hazard the self-driving car needs to deal with are all the unpredictable human-driven cars.




them seem to be able to handle that pretty well.  sure if someone just decides to smash into your side, theres not a lot you can do, but the SDC would see this before a human would, so could
- slow down
- speed up
- change lanes to avoid
- prepare to be hit


I agree that they are (or will be) better that humans at avoiding accidents, but I still think that most situations of unavoidable accidents will be the result of other human-driven vehicles (as opposed to things like rockslides etc).

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  Reply # 1420562 4-Nov-2015 11:27
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An autonomous machine should be designed to do what a person would, only better. This introduces an element of randomness into any ethical decision-making. One time the occupants might get it, another time the pedestrian children. Still better than the human average overall and the random ('human') aspect would make its occasional mistakes more acceptable. 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


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  Reply # 1420599 4-Nov-2015 11:58
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MikeB4: I honestly believe that autonomous vehicles on public roads is going to go horribly wrong. I hope I am wrong but my gut tells me different.

One fear I have is there will be some out there who believe they know better than the developers and will hack their vehicles with disastrous results.


How could it be any more disastrous than what we currently have?

People drive drunk or drugged.
People drive tired.
People get angry.
People drive without a licence.
People make bad decisions.

I could go on but this would be a rather long list.






Geoff E

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  Reply # 1420600 4-Nov-2015 11:58
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SaltyNZ:
andrew027: But surely these "ethical" decisions are contrary to the first two laws of robotics and a self-driving car having to make a choice between harming its occupants or harming other road users would irreparably damage its positronic brain?

Tsk. You never read the later books, then? The Zeroth Law?

I'm not sure a car choosing between injuring me by crashing into a power pole or injuring a pedestrian by driving up on the footpath would result in harm to humanity either way, unless the pedestrian was on the verge of creating a 100% effective cancer drug, or was a tyrannical world leader, etc. and these are things it would difficult for the car to know.

The first thing to work on shouldn't be "algorithmic morality" but reducing the number of accidents, which is surely the whole point of self-driving cars anyway. In the case of an accident that is truly "unavoidable", I'd expect the vehicle to protect the occupants. Laws will also need to be set for "driver" behaviour, e.g. must they still be paying attention to what's going on around them or can they read a book, or even fall asleep, while the car takes them from A to B? My cynical side says it will probably take a US lawsuit by a pedestrian or cyclist injured by a self-driving car to iron the laws out - is the "driver" or the manufacturer of the vehicle responsible?

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  Reply # 1420607 4-Nov-2015 12:04
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andrew027: In the case of an accident that is truly "unavoidable", I'd expect the vehicle to protect the occupants.


See this makes sense, it is realistically the decision most humans would make in the split second leading up to the situation.  

Or how about a slider option from "prefer occupant safety" to "prefer safety of others", giving the "morality" choice to the operator of the vehicle?

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  Reply # 1420613 4-Nov-2015 12:10
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Or the vehicle manufacturers can choose where in the scale. But in the case of VW. They'll advertise as will protect you the most, but actually do the opposite. And in test conditions use a morality defeat device.




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  Reply # 1420619 4-Nov-2015 12:17
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davidcole: Or the vehicle manufacturers can choose where in the scale. But in the case of VW. They'll advertise as will protect you the most, but actually do the opposite. And in test conditions use a morality defeat device.


"The "premium" package includes a 10 speaker Bose sound system and the Morality algorithm is less likely to kill you in a life-or-death situation"

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  Reply # 1420620 4-Nov-2015 12:19
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Self drive cars don't have to be perfect.
Current minimally accepted skill are low.

After all we are quite happy to allow 17 year olds with mates to cruise round.

A.

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  Reply # 1420710 4-Nov-2015 12:47
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As a software developer I am NEVER, EVER getting in a self drive car, taxi or bus.

And anyone who does or decides to buy one should be sectioned as soon as possible.

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  Reply # 1420713 4-Nov-2015 12:50
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SJB: As a software developer I am NEVER, EVER getting in a self drive car, taxi or bus.

And anyone who does or decides to buy one should be sectioned as soon as possible.


Well you should never get on an aircraft as well then.




Geoff E

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  Reply # 1420729 4-Nov-2015 13:10
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SJB: As a software developer I am NEVER, EVER getting in a self drive car, taxi or bus.

And anyone who does or decides to buy one should be sectioned as soon as possible.


remind me never to hire you :P

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