Up until recently, it was a popular opinion that driverless cars would lead the world into a driving experience without ever being in an accident, and it would make sense – naturally an automated car would follow all the rules. Now that the driverless cars are not far from hitting it big on the roads, a huge flaw is surfacing, and it’s not all that easy to eliminate, especially since nobody was insightful enough to think of it. So what’s the issue?
The very fact that the cars are set to follow all the rules.
Driverless cars are programmed to follow all the road rules, without exception, all the time. Of course, at first, one would think that that’s the way to go about it, but now that the presence of automated cars on the roads have increased, people are starting to wonder if that really is a good idea. The problem happens when these driverless cars try to merge into a highway with the average traffic being well above the speed limit. Generally, when one is merging onto a busy highway, the best option is to Give Way which is what the rule is and wait for an opening. That is something that requires human judgement and more often than not, breaking the rules, otherwise one would be left stranded on a highway indefinitely. Now since the vehicles in question are driverless cars, there is no human judgement and that has raised a whole set of arguments over at giants such as Google Inc. etc. The question as to whether these driverless cars should be taught how to commit infractions from time to time. Co-Director of the General Motors’ Gollabroative Research Lab at Carnegie Mellon University, Raj Rajkumar said,
It’s a constant debate inside our group. And we have basically decided to stick to the speed limit. But when you go out and drive the speed limit on the highway, pretty much everybody on the road is just zipping past you. And I would be one of those people.
It’s more like those thorny ethical issues now. If the programmers were to allow the driverless cars to break the rules, how far should they go? It is a problem that is being addressed by all those planning on launching driverless cars, but no one is really certain exactly how to solve it. If you have any opinion about this dilemma, be sure to comment below and let us know.You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ for more updates. Otherwise fill in the subscription box above, or subscribe to our RSS Feed.