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View Poll Results: Will self driving autos kill car insurance?
Of course 37 16.67%
Maybe but not for a long time 160 72.07%
I'm a luddite... 25 11.26%
Voters: 222. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Yesterday, 01:25 PM
Vorian Atreides's Avatar
Vorian Atreides Vorian Atreides is offline
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The Ethics Committee has opened its mouth . . .

Humans before animals and property. No discrimination as to who should survive. Safeguards against malicious hacking.

These are just some of the world-first ethical rules being implemented in Germany regarding how autonomous vehicles are to be programmed.


The report notes the technological advances being made to increase automation in cars to make them safer and reduce accidents, but it adds:
Nevertheless, at the level of what is technologically possible today [Ö] it will not be possible to prevent accidents completely. This makes it essential that decisions be taken when programming the software of conditionally and highly automated driving systems.
The report lists 20 guidelines for the motor industry to consider in the development of any automated driving systems. The minister says that cabinet has adopted the guidelines, making it the first government in the world to do so.


The moral foundation of the report is simple Ė since self-driving vehicles will cause fewer human deaths and injuries, there is a moral imperative to use such systems since governments have a duty of care for their citizens.

So what are some of the situations the report considers?

If an accident cannot be avoided, the report say human safety must take precedence over animals and property. The software must try to avoid a collision altogether, but if thatís not possible, it should take the action that does least harm to people.

The report also recognises that some decisions could be too morally ambiguous for the software to resolve.

In these cases, the ultimate decision and responsibility, at least for now, must be with the human sitting in the driverís seat, as control is swiftly transferred to them. If they fail to act, the vehicle simply tries to stop. In the near future, as capability improves, vehicles might well become fully autonomous.


If a collision is unavoidable, the report say systems must aim for harm minimisation. There must be no discrimination on the basis of age, gender, race, physical attributes or anything else of any potential accident victim.


The guidelines will be reviewed after two years of use. Doubtless there will be fine tuning in the light of experience, in this the first of many reviews in the years and decades to come.
IMO, the bottom line is that they really haven't cleared anything up about key issues. At least, it is not clear whether you give greater weight to minimizing injuries to a large group of humans over a fatal injury to an individual (or smaller group).
I find your lack of faith disturbing

Why should I worry about dying? Itís not going to happen in my lifetime!

Freedom of speech is not a license to discourtesy

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Old Yesterday, 04:01 PM
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Gonzo Gonzo is offline
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they should let the owner of the vehicle decide on whether the software acts to protect the driver or protect others

part of the initial setup when they purchase

problem solved
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Old Today, 02:01 PM
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campbell campbell is offline
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bah, self-driving cars are old news

self-flying cars are where it's at

[Just Launched] Two new Nanodegree programs!

And here is Sebastian [Thrun, founder of Udacity] on the subject of flying cars:

“There’s no reason to be stuck in traffic anymore when we can fly. With a flying vehicle, I would make it from Palo Alto to San Francisco in 10 minutes and pay 50 cents in electricity costs. People say it’s a decade away, it’s two years away honestly. There’s no technical reason it can’t be done, it’s much more a societal reason.”

The Flying Car Nanodegree Program
As mentioned above, Nicholas Roy is one of the experts helping to build this pioneering program. Nick is the Bisplinghoff Professor in the Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a member of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT. Along with Sebastian, he is joined by Raff D’Andrea (co-founder of Kiva Systems), and Angela Schoellig (professor in the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies) to round out our team of curriculum experts. Here is Nick on his colleagues, and the program, from his blog post:
“Sebastian’s contributions to autonomy are of course well-known, and his latest work with Kitty Hawk offers an especially compelling integration of cutting-edge technologies. Raff for his part brings to the table a combination of technical virtuosity and artistic sensibility that is both rare and remarkable in this field. Angela’s recent applications of motion planning, control, and learning algorithms to self-driving vehicles represent exciting new advancements in performance, safety and autonomy. I am tremendously excited to work with these amazing colleagues to help students around the world engage with the deep and technical questions in the domain of safe and reliable autonomous flight.”
A TechCrunch article today noted the following about the new Flying Car Nanodegree program:
“This (program) should produce Nanodegree holders with skill sets that can scale to match the opportunity — from practical applications today in areas like commercial drone asset monitoring, to a future where short-range autonomous cargo and even passenger transportation is a viable real world tech.”
nanodegree page:

Autonomous Flight Technology and Social Good
The potential applications of autonomous flight technology are incredible, and we’re already seeing powerful examples of this today. As recently written about in Wired, drones are helping in Houston in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. They’re enabling safety assessments for residents wondering when they can return home. They’re gathering data about damage to roads, bridges, and water treatment plants. They’re helping to identify flooding and drainage problems. As reported by NPR, telecom companies such as AT&T and Verizon are using drones to help repair emergency call centers and cellular sites. Fortune highlighted how Allstate and Farmers Insurance are deploying their own drones to process damage claims faster, and get payments to victims sooner. Already drones are beginning their work in Florida, leading NBC news to state that Hurricanes Show Why Drones Are the Future of Disaster Relief.
But even these vehicles need a lot of human effort to pilot them. Autonomous flight technology can make a powerful and positive difference in our world. A recent article entitled 9 Brilliant Ways Drones Can Help Tackle The World’s Biggest Problems included everything from humanitarian aid delivery and pollution control to combating poaching and illegal logging. Alison Cohan, director of the Nature Conservancy’s Maui Nui forest programs, recently made the observation that, “Drones are revolutionizing the way conservation can be conducted, and for far less than the cost of a helicopter or sending in ground teams.” This combination of efficiency and cost is making drone use appealing in countless other fields as well—from construction and agriculture to shipping and weather forecasting.

Building The Future of Smart Transportation
A comprehensive article published recently in The Economist broached the subject of “self-flying taxis,” noting that companies including Airbus, Uber, and Kitty Hawk are all working on the problem of flying cars. The Economist article specifically notes that path-planning and obstacle avoidance are especially difficult when considering “manned” drone flight—these are exactly the challenges our students will be tackling.
The Flying Car Nanodegree program will open in early 2018. Until then, myself, Sebastian, Raffaello, Angela, and the Udacity Flying Car Team will be hard at work completing the curriculum. I cannot wait to open the classroom doors to our first students!
Flying cars are a long way from reality, but the first prototypes are already in the air, and in the years to come we’ll see tremendous progress in this field, It was even recently reported that Toyota plans to debut their flying car at the 2020 Olympics! Whether they achieve this specific goal or not, it is certain that a new transportation future is being built even as we speak. This future will fuse land and sky, and leverage the best of what both manned and autonomous vehicles offer. These new vehicles will expand our reach, and make the previously impossible possible. Just as the covered wagon once did.

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