With Autonomous cars in the near future, people are questioning the possible implications. Currently there are different signs of the possible future, with cars coming out with different features such as sensor stopping and staying within the yellow lines, which are all adding up to the full control of the car. Google Engineer, Sebastian Thrun, advancements with Artificial intelligence applied to a car, puts this product in the near future. However how will the public react to this dependency on technology, will it be accepted as an idea of growth or will it be feared?
Google in collaboration with Mercedes Benz released the first autonomous car in 2021. The top Google programmers took on the challenge of designing and foreseeing future accidents. With such a controversial problems the company struggled between ethics and statistics behind each possible scenario.
There were very contradicting feelings about the car in its first year of release. Some people found the car to be a great advance in technology, looking at all of the benefits that it will bring the human race. While on the other hand people started to question the safety aspect of these cars, wondering if it was too much responsibility to put onto a “robot.” Their main concern was the interaction between the “Robot Cars” and human drivers, could they both exist together?
In the beginning there was barely any problems with the cars, due to the small amount of them on the road. As the number increased, traditional drivers started to lose patience.
After a major “driver-less car” and “human-driver car” accident, there was a huge lawsuit against Google. Reflecting the classic “Trolley Problem,” three pedestrians ran onto the road causing the autonomous car to swerve into oncoming traffic killing the human operated driver. The car was programed for statistics, save three and only kill one. Was it fair to choose someone who would not originally be involved even if more people are alive because of it?
The Plaintiff argued that a programed car should not choose the fate of a third party, that is wrong to intentionally hit a car that was otherwise not involved. The defense brought up different cases in the a past where a traditional car crash cause similar outcomes, looking at how it was considered “human- error” or “reaction.” Questioning why the AI was being held to a higher standard.
Since this is the first trail of it’s kind, the case continued over a long period of time, due to the indecision of the jury. Meanwhile, hate groups started to protest, targeting the autonomous cars that were on the streets. After Google won the lawsuit, people we enraged, starting the long war against AI technology, later called “Machine vs. Human.”