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Driverless Vehicles: The Socioeconomic Effects and Future of Autonomous Technology

#artificialintelligence

Note: This article was originally published as an essay for an ethics class. I have decided to keep it in the same format given the sources used. It was originally written sometime in 2015. Quite interesting to observe similarities, differences, and growth in just the short span of 3 years when it comes to driverless cars and autonomous technology. Thousands of years ago, humans roamed the earth on nothing but bare feet. Hundreds of years ago, we rode horses and carriages, even trains. Then, Henry Ford and the automobile came along to pave the way for one of today's most common ways of transportation.


Still Waiting for Self-Driving Cars

Communications of the ACM

Over the past decade, technology and automotive pundits have predicted the "imminent" arrival of fully autonomous vehicles that can drive on public roads without any active monitoring or input from a human driver. Elon Musk has predicted his company Tesla would deliver fully autonomous vehicles by the end of 2021, but he made similar predictions in 2020, 2019, and 2017. Each prediction has fallen flat, largely due to real-world safety concerns, particularly related to how self-driving cars perform in adverse conditions or situations. Despite such proclamations from Tesla, which released its optimistically named Full Self Driving capability for AutoPilot in October 2021, fully automated self-driving cars have not yet arrived. Instead, most manufacturers are offering systems that feature capabilities that generally fall within the first three of the six levels of autonomy defined by the Society of Automotive Engineering (SAE), which range from Level 0 (no driving automation) to Level 5 (full self-driving capabilities under all conditions).


The Self-Driving Car: Crossroads at the Bleeding Edge of Artificial Intelligence and Law

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) features are increasingly being embedded in cars and are central to the operation of self-driving cars (SDC). There is little or no effort expended towards understanding and assessing the broad legal and regulatory impact of the decisions made by AI in cars. A comprehensive literature review was conducted to determine the perceived barriers, benefits and facilitating factors of SDC in order to help us understand the suitability and limitations of existing and proposed law and regulation. (1) existing and proposed laws are largely based on claimed benefits of SDV that are still mostly speculative and untested; (2) while publicly presented as issues of assigning blame and identifying who pays where the SDC is involved in an accident, the barriers broadly intersect with almost every area of society, laws and regulations; and (3) new law and regulation are most frequently identified as the primary factor for enabling SDC. Research on assessing the impact of AI in SDC needs to be broadened beyond negligence and liability to encompass barriers, benefits and facilitating factors identified in this paper. Results of this paper are significant in that they point to the need for deeper comprehension of the broad impact of all existing law and regulations on the introduction of SDC technology, with a focus on identifying only those areas truly requiring ongoing legislative attention.


Apple accelerates work on car as it aims for fully autonomous vehicle

The Japan Times

Apple Inc. is pushing to accelerate development of its electric car and is refocusing the project around full self-driving capabilities, according to people familiar with the matter, aiming to solve a technical challenge that has bedeviled the auto industry. For the past several years, Apple's car team had explored two simultaneous paths: creating a model with limited self-driving capabilities focused on steering and acceleration -- similar to most current cars from Tesla Inc. -- or a version with full self-driving ability that doesn't require human intervention. Under the effort's new leader -- Apple Watch software executive Kevin Lynch -- engineers are now concentrating on the second option. Lynch is pushing for a car with a full self-driving system in the first version, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. It's just the latest shift for the car effort, known as the Special Projects Group or "Project Titan," which has endured strategy changes and executive turnover since starting around 2014.


Apple accelerates work on car, aims for fully autonomous vehicle

Al Jazeera

Apple Inc. is pushing to accelerate development of its electric car and is refocusing the project around full self-driving capabilities, according to people familiar with the matter, aiming to solve a technical challenge that has bedeviled the auto industry. For the past several years, Apple's car team had explored two simultaneous paths: creating a model with limited self-driving capabilities focused on steering and acceleration -- similar to most current cars from Tesla Inc. -- or a version with full self-driving ability that doesn't require human intervention. Under the effort's new leader -- Apple Watch software executive Kevin Lynch -- engineers are now concentrating on the second option. Lynch is pushing for a car with a full self-driving system in the first version, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. It's just the latest shift for the car effort, known as the Special Projects Group or "Project Titan," which has endured strategy changes and executive turnover since starting around 2014.


Robo-taxis are headed for a street near you

MIT Technology Review

In the coming years, mobility solutions--or how we get from point A to point B--will bridge the gap between ground and air transportation--yes, that means flying cars. Technological advancements are transforming mobility for people and, leading to unprecedented change. Nand Kochhar, vice president of automotive and transportation for Siemens Software says this transformation extends beyond transportation to society in general. "The future of mobility is going to be multimodal to meet consumer demands, to offer a holistic experience in a frictionless way, which offers comfort, convenience, and safety to the end consumer." Thinking about transportation differently is part of a bigger trend, Kochhar notes: "Look at few other trends like sustainability and emissions, which are not just a challenge for the automotive industry but to society as a whole." The advances in technology will have benefits beyond shipping and commute improvements--these technological advancements, Kochhar argues, are poised to drive an infrastructure paradigm shift that will bring newfound autonomy to those who, today, aren't able to get around by themselves. Kochhar explains, "Just imagine people in our own families who are in that stage where they're not able to drive today. Now, you're able to provide them freedom." Laurel Ruma: From Technology Review, I'm Laurel Ruma, and this is Business Lab, the show that helps business leaders make sense of new technologies coming out of the lab and into the marketplace. Our topic today is the future of mobility. In 2011, Marc Andreessen famously said, "Software is eating the world."


Smart Automotive Technology Adherence to the Law: (De)Constructing Road Rules for Autonomous System Development, Verification and Safety

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Driving is an intuitive task that requires skills, constant alertness and vigilance for unexpected events. The driving task also requires long concentration spans focusing on the entire task for prolonged periods, and sophisticated negotiation skills with other road users, including wild animals. These requirements are particularly important when approaching intersections, overtaking, giving way, merging, turning and while adhering to the vast body of road rules. Modern motor vehicles now include an array of smart assistive and autonomous driving systems capable of subsuming some, most, or in limited cases, all of the driving task. The UK Department of Transport's response to the Safe Use of Automated Lane Keeping System consultation proposes that these systems are tested for compliance with relevant traffic rules. Building these smart automotive systems requires software developers with highly technical software engineering skills, and now a lawyer's in-depth knowledge of traffic legislation as well. These skills are required to ensure the systems are able to safely perform their tasks while being observant of the law. This paper presents an approach for deconstructing the complicated legalese of traffic law and representing its requirements and flow. The approach (de)constructs road rules in legal terminology and specifies them in structured English logic that is expressed as Boolean logic for automation and Lawmaps for visualisation. We demonstrate an example using these tools leading to the construction and validation of a Bayesian Network model. We strongly believe these tools to be approachable by programmers and the general public, and capable of use in developing Artificial Intelligence to underpin motor vehicle smart systems, and in validation to ensure these systems are considerate of the law when making decisions.


When self-driving cars are coming, for real

#artificialintelligence

Self-driving features have been creeping into automobiles for years, and Tesla (TSLA) even calls its autonomous system "full self-driving." That's hype, not reality: There's still no car on the market that can drive itself under all conditions with no human input. But researchers are getting close, and automotive supplier Mobileye just announced it's deploying a fleet of self-driving prototypes in New York City, to test its technology against hostile drivers, unrepentant jaywalkers, double parkers, omnipresent construction and horse-drawn carriages. The company, a division of Intel (INTC), describes NYC as "one of the world's most challenging driving environments" and says the data from the trial will push full self-driving capability closer to prime time. In an interview, Mobileye CEO Amnon Shashua said fully autonomous cars could be in showrooms by the end of President Biden's first term.


Tech Giants Make Push Into Autonomous Driving

#artificialintelligence

At first glance, the forays Apple Inc., Google and other technology giants are making into the world of cars don't appear to be particularly lucrative. Building automobiles requires factories, equipment and an army of people to design and assemble large hunks of steel, plastic and glass. The world's top 10 carmakers had an operating margin of just 5.2% in 2020, a fraction of the 34% enjoyed by the tech industry's leaders, data compiled by Bloomberg show. But for Apple and other behemoths that are diving into self-driving tech or have grand plans for their own cars, that push isn't just about breaking into a new market -- it's about defending valuable turf. "Why are tech companies pushing into autonomous driving? Because they can, and because they have to," said Chris Gerdes, co-director of the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford University.


Apple's car obsession is all about taking eyes off the road

#artificialintelligence

At first glance, the forays Apple Inc., Google and other technology giants are making into the world of cars don't appear to be particularly lucrative. Building automobiles requires factories, equipment and an army of people to design and assemble large hunks of steel, plastic and glass. The world's top 10 carmakers had an operating margin of just 5.2% in 2020, a fraction of the 34% enjoyed by the tech industry's leaders, data compiled by Bloomberg show. But for Apple and other behemoths that are diving into self-driving tech or have grand plans for their own cars, that push isn't just about breaking into a new market -- it's about defending valuable turf. "Why are tech companies pushing into autonomous driving? Because they can, and because they have to," said Chris Gerdes, co-director of the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford University.