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reader poll: autonomous cars

Will autonomous cars take away our jobs? Will we be better off with the cars even if they do? According to our latest poll results, most people think autonomous cars will be a net positive, even though more jobs may be displaced than created.

One of the most popular questions when it comes to discussing robotics is the jobs question. But what about autonomous cars? Will they create jobs, or displace them? Tell us what you think!

The idea of autonomous cars that can communicate with each other and organize themselves to better control the flow of traffic sounds interesting and possibly scary. Our results indicate that the majority (85%) support such technology.

Imagine the future where your autonomous car can talk to other cars to decrease traffic flow perhaps. How would you feel about your car being a part of such network of autonomous cars?

How do people feel about autonomous cars driving around the city streets without a passenger? What if the passenger is drunk or under the influence of drugs? Our poll results find that more people are supportive of a drunk or high passenger riding in a fully autonomous car (one that never requires human input) than having an autonomous car roam the streets without any passengers.

Should an autonomous car be able to drive around by itself? What if it’s carrying a passenger who is drunk?

A significant percentage of people today take pleasure in driving and a sense of control it provides; on the other hand, many of us are ready to shift gears to a safer and more efficient passenger experience.

We’d like to know what you think. Will you miss driving your non-autonomous car? Why or why not?

motorcycle_accident

Given a choice between crashing into a motorcyclist wearing a helmet vs. a motorcyclist who isn’t wearing one, which one should an autonomous car be programmed to crash into? What about the choice between crashing into an SUV vs. a compact car?

These are some of the dilemma situations Professor Patrick Lin brought forth in his WIRED article, The Robot Car of Tomorrow May Just be Programmed to Hit You.

Our latest reader poll prods at the intricate challenges and implications of developing collision optimization algorithms for autonomous cars.

If you were around in the ’80s you probably remember Michael Knight talking to his car KITT in Knight Rider. How do people today envision interacting with the autonomous cars of the future? Find out in our reader poll results.

Last week we looked at the results of our reader poll on the Tunnel Problem, a moral dilemma that explores an unavoidable life and death scenario involving an autonomous car. Now we’re going more in-depth, to provide you with some insight into the qualitative responses we received.

When it comes to interfacing with a device as exciting and complicated as an autonomous car, we will need to do so on many levels. We will want to set our destination, surely, or perhaps set a maximum speed. Or we might wish to be alerted if the car must pull into a gas station to refuel in the middle of a trip, or if we will soon be passing a rest area. How would you want to interface with an autonomous car? Take our reader poll.

Two weeks ago, we presented the Tunnel Problem, and asked if death by autonomous car is unavoidable, who should die. We also asked who should be responsible for making the decision. See the results from our reader poll.

There may be times when an accident or a death is unavoidable while an autonomous car is controlling the wheel. What should an autonomous car do when such situation arises? How should the designers of the cars program them to respond? This week, we introduce the Tunnel Problem, which describes one such situation and has been a topic of serious debate for philosophers as well as those watching the technology carefully. Let us know what you think by participating in our poll.



Using Natural Language in Human-Robot Collaboration
November 11, 2019


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