by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions
Your government and colluding corporations are moving full-speed ahead with promoting the development of Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) that would be enabled by vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications.
Some of the hype surrounding this technology-inspired initiative was recently highlighted at The Verge by stating:
“Behind self-driving, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication is one of the biggest sea changes in transportation technology on the horizon — it could have an enormous impact on driving safety, if it’s implemented quickly and correctly. The concept is pretty simple: cars, signs, and traffic signals all communicate to one another over Wi-Fi-like airwaves, so that drivers (and automatic safety systems built into cars) have more information about the traffic and environment around them.”
However, like so many well-intentioned technology oriented initiatives, insufficient care and consideration are given to consumers and citizens who would have to live with the negative aspects and risks associated with these AVs.
Last year Google announced that its future cars would be totally driver-free, without even a steering wheel. It cited the difficulties in assuring that a standby human driver would always be ready to take over. It made this announcement knowing that its cars cannot travel in heavy rains and have not yet been tested for driving in the snow or multilevel parking garages. I personally wonder how Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) will avoid large potholes which are common in many parts of the country in the winter time. Maybe you are just expected to drive through the potholes and suffer the consequences.
With the technocrats increasingly in control, citizens need to become more aware of the course that is currently being plotted on their behalf and push back against the life altering world that lies ahead.
The latest indicator for the course being plotted is the development of mathematical algorithms that would govern a vehicle’s response to perceived accident situations. For example, the car may decide to self-sacrifice the driver by running into a brick wall rather than running over a pedestrian (or was it actually a goose crossing the road). On the other hand, the car may give priority to its occupants if children are on board or if an occupant is otherwise registered as an essential high-value asset by the technocrats governing the brave new world of the future.
Of course, what if it were really just a sensor malfunction or a hacker or computer “glitch” that ended up causing the self-sacrifice?
Do you think I am making this up? Well, feel free to read a newly published paper entitled, “Autonomous Vehicles Need Experimental Ethics: Are We Ready for Utilitarian Cars?”
According to the Abstract for the paper:
“The wide adoption of self-driving, Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) promises to dramatically reduce the number of traffic accidents. Some accidents, though, will be inevitable, because some situations will require AVs to choose the lesser of two evils.”
“[M]anufacturers and regulators will need psychologists to apply the methods of experimental ethics to situations involving AVs and unavoidable harm.”
“We give special attention to whether an AV should save lives by sacrificing its owner, and provide insights into (i) the perceived morality of this self-sacrifice, (ii) the willingness to see this self-sacrifice being legally enforced, (iii) the expectations that AVs will be programmed to self-sacrifice, and (iv) the willingness to buy self-sacrificing AVs.
Excerpts from the paper include:
“Not discouraging buyers is a commercial necessity — but it is also in itself a moral imperative, given the social and safety benefits AVs provide over conventional cars. Meanwhile, avoiding public outrage, that is, adopting moral algorithms that align with human moral attitudes, is key to fostering public comfort with allowing the broad use of AVs in the first place.”
“We suggest that a way out of this conundrum is to adopt a data-driven approach, inspired by experimental ethics, to identify moral algorithms that people are willing to accept as citizens and to be subjected to as car owners.”
Based upon surveys conducted regarding autonomous self-driving cars and reported in the paper:
“[M]ost respondents agreed that AVs should be programmed for utilitarian self-sacrifice, and to pursue the greater good rather than protect their own passenger. However, they were not as confident that AVs would be programmed that way in reality — and for a good reason: They actually wished others to cruise in utilitarian AVs, more than they wanted to buy utilitarian AVs themselves.”
“People mostly agree on what should be done for the greater good of everyone, but it is in everybody’s self-interest not to do it themselves. This is both a challenge and an opportunity for manufacturers or regulatory agencies wishing to push for utilitarian AVs: even though self-interest may initially work against such AVs, social norms may soon be formed that strongly favor their adoption.”
Key Point from Above: Let others self-sacrifice as long as I don’t have to do it myself.
In my case, I have no desire to purchase an autonomous vehicle, and I attribute this perspective not to a fear of technology but based upon an informed awareness of the insurmountable pitfalls and risks involved, not only for the “self-sacrifice option” of riding in a car without a steering wheel but also due to the tremendous exposure to wireless radiation which is envisioned for the ultimate version of these cars and the privacy and cyber threats associated with the “smart car” of the future. An AV is essentially a gigantic data-collection engine which includes embedded computers, GPS receivers, short-range wireless network interfaces and sensors.
For additional information on the current status of driverless cars, Consumer Watchdog provided an update in May 2015:
“Self-driving cars are now being tested on our public streets and roads. After pressure from Consumer Watchdog, Google finally acknowledged 13 crashes involving its vehicles, but still has not made official accident reports public. Google wants to offer a robot car without a steering wheel, brake pedal or accelerator.”
Source Material for this Article
“New York is getting wired with traffic signals that can talk to cars,” at http://www.theverge.com/2015/9/14/9326555/new-york-is-getting-wired-with-traffic-signals-that-can-talk-to-cars
“Hidden Obstacles for Google’s Self-Driving Cars,” at http://www.technologyreview.com/news/530276/hidden-obstacles-for-googles-self-driving-cars/
“Autonomous Vehicles Need Experimental Ethics: Are We Ready for Utilitarian Cars?”, October 2015; arXiv:1510.03346 [cs.CY]
“Driverless Cars have safety issues and accidents on Public Streets,” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_Gz6eSatM8&feature=youtu.be
Related Past Articles
“U.S. Proceeding with Mandatory Wireless ‘Vehicle to Vehicle’ Communications,” at https://smartgridawareness.org/2014/02/10/us-proceeding-with-mandatory-vehicle-communications/
“Should People Be Allowed to Drive Cars?,” at https://smartgridawareness.org/2014/02/11/should-people-be-allowed-to-drive/