The Decision Making By Self Driving Cars Essay

The Decision Making By Self Driving Cars Essay

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The second Ethics Case discussed in class this semester was about the morals and ethical dilemmas of decision making by self-driving cars in the event of an emergency. Companies such as Tesla, Uber partnered with Volvo, and Google are just a few examples of the efforts being made to introduce a driverless car to roads of the U.S. by 2020.
There are great number of benefits to owning and operating driverless vehicles. A major goal of self-driving cars is to dramatically reduce human error involved when driving. Manufacturers hope to decrease the risks of driving; risks that cause accidents or harm others include driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, distractions inside the vehicle such as music, children or cell phones, and aggressive driving while overstressed or out of bad habit. Another objective of driverless cars is to eliminate congestion while commuting in areas of high traffic. On roads packed with vehicles, driverless cars can assess conditions better than humans to make informed decisions about changing lanes, passing other vehicles, or other actions attributing to human error. Manufacturers also aim to influence an increase in carpooling between destinations, especially those who commute to work Monday through Friday. By reducing the number of vehicles on highways during rush hours, driverless cars will also scale down the number of fatalities occurring from frustration during traffic flows. If all vehicles on roads are self-driving, then they will all be equipped with communication systems to interpret each other’s movements in reference to their own. For example, when a vehicle brakes or accelerates the car behind or in front of it can mirror the other’s actions without initiating an accident. For long...

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...ns supporting the manufacturing of driverless cars matter until all the moral predicaments of operating them are eliminated. So, who will decide the fate of individuals involved in dangerous situations requiring a self-driving car to make an emergency choice? Will it be the programmers who developed the software, the motor companies who produce the vehicles, or the government that regulates public roads? Is a premeditated judgement constructed to reduce risk a better outcome than a random decision? Will a random decision be more acceptable to those who are not immediately involved in the accident? What factors should the vehicle take into consideration before making a decision? Should it calculate age, gender/ sex, income, religion, or any other elements? These and many more questions must be answered before self-driving cars can operate with public support by 2020.

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