Self driving cars are becoming more and more prominent in the news especially as lots of different manufacturers are testing them currently. Apple is expected to release a self driving car around 2020, this has not been confirmed however but is believed to be true. Google are already working on a self-driving car and have been very open about it.
One of the biggest advantages to self-driving cars is that it will give us a lot safer roads. The problem is, if you look at the crash reports for the Google self-driving car then you will see that most of the accidents it has been involved in were due to other road users. This is the problem that is currently faced with self-driving cars as a computer can never fully tell what a person is going to do (especially as we, as people, have a difficult enough time doing that anyway). However if the adoption of self-driving cars was great then they would work well with each other.
That is not to say that they do not work well with other drivers, it is just saying that it will be one of the most problematic areas.
Who is responsible in an accident?
Accidents are a big issue that have come up from self-driving cars. The car manufacturers technically need to program the car to kill people as the car needs to know that it is better to kill 1 person then 5 people. Which is a very difficult subject to discuss as there is a lot of disagreement with these thoughts as it links back to the philosophical question about the train tracks.
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. However, 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. Which is the correct choice? - Wikipedia
The next big topic is who actually is responsible for any accidents are deaths caused. Is it Google as they made the self-driving car? Is it the person in the car? Is it the programming team? This is another big discussion that people are also having about self-driving cars.
Although I have only briefly brought up two points I do feel that self-driving cars have a prominent place in our future and I feel that we will have considerably less accidents and a much safer environment. Let me know what you think in the comments below:
© Danny Franklin 2016