Skip to content

Autonomous and Self-Driving Vehicles

Snow Banks, Infrastructure Issues Interfere with Self-Driving Vehicles, Report Says
by Hannah Schoenbaum
The Daily Free Press, 26 April 2018

Optimus Ride, a Boston-based self-driving vehicle startup, released a quarterly report that identified inefficient snow removal as an obstacle to self-driving cars in the city.

The report noted opportunities for infrastructure improvement in Boston, with more substantial snow plowing efforts being the primary recommendation. Roadside snowbanks inhibit the turning mechanisms…


Can Self-Driving Cars Be Engineered to Be Ethical?
by Bryan Lynn
VOA Learning English, 21 March 2018

This week, a self-driving vehicle struck and killed a woman in the American state of Arizona. The death is believed to be the first involving a fully autonomous car on U.S. public roads.

The vehicle was operating in self-driving mode when it hit a 49-year-old woman crossing the street near…


Driverless Cars and the 5 Ethical Questions on Risk, Safety and Trust We Still Need to Answer
by Ariel Bogle
ABC News Australia, 20 March 2018

The first pedestrian death involving a self-driving car highlights the many ethical challenges posed by autonomous vehicles.

Elaine Herzberg, 49, was struck on Sunday by an Uber car while walking her bicycle on the road in Phoenix, Arizona. She later died from her injuries.

Authorities have not yet announced whether…


Self-driving Cars Can’t Be Perfectly Safe–What’s Good Enough? 3 Questions Answered
by Nicholas G. Evans
The Conversation, 11 March 2018

Editor’s note: On March 19, an Uber self-driving vehicle being tested in Arizona struck and killed Elaine Herzberg, who was walking her bike across the street. This is the first time a self-driving vehicle has killed a pedestrian, and it raises questions about the ethics of developing and testing emerging…


Glitches or Not, Nissan Starts Testing Semi-Autonomous Rides
by Yuri Kageyama
AP, 23 February 2018

In the future Nissan envisions, driverless cars will pick up children from school and recommend restaurants to tourists in various languages.

Nissan Motor Co. says feedback from people who try it will be used to fine-tune its “robo-vehicle mobility service.”

The automaker said Friday that 300 people have already signed…


Philosophers Are Building Ethical Algorithms to Help Control Self-Driving Cars
by Olivia Goldhill
Quartz, 11 February 2018

Artificial intelligence experts and roboticists aren’t the only ones working on the problem of autonomous vehicles. Philosophers are also paying close attention to the development of what, from their perspective, looks like a myriad of ethical quandaries on wheels.

The field has been particularly focused over the past few years…


Researchers Land Nearly $600,000 to Study Ethics of Self-Driving Cars
by Joshua Bolkan
Campus Technology, 30 January 2018

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, Manhattan College and California Polytechnic State University have won $556,000 from the National Science Foundation to study the ethics of self-driving cars.

“You could program a car to minimize the number of deaths or life-years lost in any situation, but then something counterintuitive…


How a Philosophy Professor is Tackling the Ethical Questions of Self-Driving Cars
by Kristin Toussaint
Metro News, 30 October 2017

If you’re driving on the highway and a car suddenly stops in front of you, you usually brake or swerve to avoid hitting it. But do you decide in advance which way you turn the wheel?

Probably not, since you’re relying on instinct. When it comes to self-driving cars, however,…


Philosophy Prof Wins NSF Grant on Ethics of Self-Driving Cars
by Katharine Webster
UML Press, 8 August 2017

Should your self-driving car protect you, the “driver” or owner, at all costs? Or should it steer you into a ditch – potentially causing serious injury – to avoid hitting a school bus full of children?

Those are the kinds of questions that preoccupy Asst. Prof. of Philosophy Nicholas Evans, who teaches…