Dilemma: A choice between two options, especially undesirable ones. For the 17 of you who haven’t seen the movie Frozen, Elsa perceives that she has a choice to either “Conceal, don’t feel, Don’t let them know” or as she says, “Turn my back and slam the door… and here I stand… and here I’ll stay…… Continue reading On Feedom: Elsa’s Dilemma
At some point in time, engineers and lawyers will need to determine if an autonomous car needs to have a conscience. The classic thought exercise in ethics known as the trolley problem , or possibly the “fat man variant” will need to be dealt with. Wikipedia states it as well as I can hope to: The general… Continue reading Vehicular Morality: Is My Car Evil?
In a previous post, I discussed that Platooning would be used for several reasons. In addition to the traffic control reasons, a significant reason is the fuel savings that results from drafting. Drafting is the close following of one car by another car. Or, as wiki states, it is “a technique where two vehicles or other moving objects… Continue reading Drafting
A month ago, Jason Laughlin posted an article about autonomous cars in Philly.com. The basic gist of the article was that autonomous cars may need to be programmed with morality. He thought that autonomous cars were a long way off, because, in his words: …the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission assembled last fall the Futures Group,… Continue reading Did Philly Miss the Future?
One of the things I’ve alluded to and not addressed in a very straightforward manner is the fact that automation exists, full autonomy does not (today) and that there are a few steps between today and full autonomy. Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has created a policy. It breaks… Continue reading Five Levels of Automation: NHTSA
Most of the time, when it comes to autonomous cars, I am very positive that issues are solvable with open discussion and engineering resources. (It’s just a matter of time and money!) One of the areas about which I’m most sanguine is Navigation. Currently, navigation is one of the more advanced areas of automation for… Continue reading Navigation Prohibitions
I saw the above bumper sticker on a car recently. It’s a well known fact that many “middle America” moms (and increasingly, dads) spend an enormous amount of time taxiing kids around to various practices, games, meets, and tournaments. It may be possible in the future to have adults load a child on one end… Continue reading From Passenger to Cargo
Scofflaw: a person who flouts the law, especially by failing to comply with a law that is difficult to enforce effectively. Since it’s one of my favorite words, this was bound to be the title of my next post. In this case, I don’t plan on referring to the car, but rather the passenger in… Continue reading The Scofflaw
Legalism: Excessive adherence to law or formula. I’ve been thinking for a while about what traffic laws would be modified by a road system with only automated denizens. I suspect that stop signs would go the way of the dodo bird. In the interim there will be some teething difficulties. First will be the difficulty… Continue reading The Legalist