As we move closer to the full world in autonomous vehicles, there are still many questions to answer about technology. Laws, infrastructure, and automotive design all need to change as they move, and this has made some people uncomfortable. Now Audi is trying to express those concerns with the results of a new study.
Last December, Audi & Audi announced a new initiative designed to test the overall social dimension of autonomous driving. To do this they start a study with the help of field experts and call it “SocAIty”. Now, there are results and Audi has addressed some of its results.
One of the biggest concerns about autonomous vehicles is how they will handle issues like the “trolley problem”. In other words, tell us how they will deal with a dangerous situation where there is no way to avoid seemingly injuring the passenger, the other person outside the car, or both.
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A few years ago, Mercedes boldly announced that its vehicles would make passenger safety its top priority, and in doing so they also predicted Audi’s investigations. The automaker says that the car can only do what it is programmed to do because it is not a thought, rational entity no matter how advanced it may be. “It can only capture the moral judgment and values of those who design it – and apply it without their own interpretation,” the study says.
Christoph Lutz, one of the experts mentioned above, further clarifies the feeling of what would be the priority for most manufacturers: Evaluation. ”Of course, Audi covers a number of other issues related to the future of autonomous vehicles, such as the law, the issue of making driving less fun or the need for less parking space.
Another important concern that many have is how risky it is for self-propelled vehicles to be hacked. Audi indicates that, in fact, autonomous vehicles will not be more risky than other vehicles. At the same time, acknowledging that vulnerabilities should be found and exploited, the dangers are even more serious.
The study also includes how the infrastructure needs to be changed to better incorporate these vehicles and how the autonomous design itself will shift to a greater focus on the cabin. This further clarifies that the first autonomous vehicles will probably not be able to drive anywhere because infrastructure will play a role in that direction.
All in all, it looks like big companies like Audi are trying their best to handle the situation as soon as possible. What are your thoughts on autonomous driving? Are you rather less people driving their vehicles and letting computers take over or are you more concerned about the limitations of technology?
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