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General Chat Thread, Uk to allow Driverless Cars in General; Uk to allow Driverless Cars from January . The future is here! Is this a good thing? Who will we ...
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    Uk to allow Driverless Cars

    Uk to allow Driverless Cars from January.

    The future is here! Is this a good thing? Who will we swear at when one of these cuts us up? Will Google cars be continually served penalty points because they are always on the phone to home? Will cars now try and sell you things "I see you are going to work, have you thought of visiting work-shoes.come today?". Have we really, finally found a way to get Jeremy Clarkson off our screens!

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    IrritableTech's Avatar
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    I read an interesting article on driverless cars a while ago - all around the ethics.

    For example - how do you program a car to crash - they will at some point.

    Say a child runs out from behind a wall. There was no indication what so ever that it could have been there, and the car needs to decide - take evasive action, possibly into oncoming traffic, or hit the child? If we as individuals behind the wheel were put in that decision, we'd make different decisions. Driverless cars quite possibly make the decision based on the person who wrote the program - and in the event of an identical accident it would make the same decision.

    How about a crash where the driverless car is going to hit one of two motorbikes. One rider is wearing a helmet, the other (stupidly) is not. How do you program a car to make a decision? The rider with the helmet is statistically more likely to live - but should they be punished for wearing the correct equipment and following the laws or should the car be programmed to hit the rider who seems to take less regard of their life?

    Do we need to humanize the program and add in a random number generator to decide someones fate?

    I thought it was a fascinating subject.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Does that mean my car can give me a lift home from the pub?

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    SteveBentley (30th July 2014), stevenkellett (1st August 2014)

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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    Does that mean my car can give me a lift home from the pub?
    So long as it's p!ssed as well

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    CAM
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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    Does that mean my car can give me a lift home from the pub?
    Nope because you are 'in charge' of the car whilst drunk even if it doesn't have a steering wheel. Same reason you can be in a stationary car and still get done for drink driving.

    I want to know how Google intend for the car to handle parking though. Will it get confused in multi-story car parks?

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    The reverse side of the ethics question has to be, when robots prove they are safer drivers than humans (they almost certainly will be), will it be ethical to actually allow humans to drive?

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    IrritableTech (30th July 2014)

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAM View Post
    Nope because you are 'in charge' of the car whilst drunk even if it doesn't have a steering wheel. Same reason you can be in a stationary car and still get done for drink driving.
    I suspect that this will be one area of law that will need to change. The actual offence can be to be drunk in charge of a motor vehicle on a public road or place, you don't have to be driving it to be in charge of it. An application of autonomous vehicles will be as taxis, that can't happen if the robot is not legally in charge of the vehicle.

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    Is this the new top gear format? No presenters

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    Quote Originally Posted by nicholab View Post
    Is this the new top gear format? No presenters
    That would leave no one to hate. (probably NSFW (swearing))

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    jumpinjamez (31st July 2014)

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    CAM
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    I suspect that this will be one area of law that will need to change. The actual offence can be to be drunk in charge of a motor vehicle on a public road or place, you don't have to be driving it to be in charge of it. An application of autonomous vehicles will be as taxis, that can't happen if the robot is not legally in charge of the vehicle.
    Someone else is in charge of a taxi, namely the taxi driver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAM View Post
    Someone else is in charge of a taxi, namely the taxi driver.
    Err ... yes. But in a driverless taxi, there will be no, err ... driver.

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    Exactly, so who is the one in the car and subsequently in charge?

    You are trying to apply too much common sense to UK law. I guarantee if you get in a driverless car drunk and get pulled over, "but it's driverless" won't fly with the officer holding the ticket book. Do not think just a stop/go button will be a reality, health and safety will likely require some means of stopping the vehicle in an emergency which if you are too drunk to operate (or operate because you are drunk) you will not be fit to be in charge of the vehicle.

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    For "driverless cars" to happen, the law needs to change. TPTB will be looking at what needs to change, as reported in the article. All I was saying was that that (Road Traffic Act 1998 - section 4) was one area likely to need amendment, otherwise companies looking to put driver less cars on the road, wont be able to operate them as Taxis.

    Generally the law does operate with a good deal of common sense. It's just that common sense ... is not all that common.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAM View Post
    I want to know how Google intend for the car to handle parking though. Will it get confused in multi-story car parks?
    So people will still need to be able to park in spaces correctly then

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    Quote Originally Posted by IrritableTech View Post
    I read an interesting article on driverless cars a while ago - all around the ethics.

    For example - how do you program a car to crash - they will at some point.

    Say a child runs out from behind a wall. There was no indication what so ever that it could have been there, and the car needs to decide - take evasive action, possibly into oncoming traffic, or hit the child? If we as individuals behind the wheel were put in that decision, we'd make different decisions. Driverless cars quite possibly make the decision based on the person who wrote the program - and in the event of an identical accident it would make the same decision.

    ...
    Good point. Suppose Jeremy Clarkson was on one side of the street, and David Cameron was on the other, and you could only hit one of them. This sort of thing would give the software engineers sleepless nights.

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