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Discussion Case: The Arrival of Autonomous Cars-Bright Future or Looming Threat?

by | Nov 24, 2021 | Management | 0 comments

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Discussion Case: The Arrival of Autonomous Cars-Bright Future or Looming Threat? As Elaine Herzberg walked her bicycle across a siX-lane road in lempe, Arizona, around 10 o clock at night, she was fatally struck by a Volvo SUV, a prototype autonomous vehicle that Uber had modified to test its self-driving technology. A series of safety failures had comhined to cause this fatal accident. First. the sensors mounted on the car tailed to spot Herzberg in sutticient time to slow the vehicle down from its 38 miles-per-hour speed. Second, according to police video cameras, the salety driver, a human Sitting in the vehicle charged with monitoring the driving, did not have his hands on the steering wheel and was apparently distracted. Third, the car’s brakes were never applied by the satety driver or the car’s system. In another incident, a Tesla Model X SUV traveling on Highway 101 in Mountain View. California, slammed into a concrete highway lane divider and burst into Flames, Killing the driver, Wei Huang. Tesla reported that the autopilot system was engaged and provided warnings to Huang of a potential collision, but Huang failed to take control of the vehicle According to the company’s press release, Huang, “had received several Visual and one audible hands-on warnings earlier in the drive and the driver’s hands were not detected on the wheel for six seconds prior to the collision. The driver had about five seconds and 10 meters of unobstructed view of the concrete divider but the vehicle logs show that no action was taken While the self-driving technologv was state-of-the-art in both vehicles at the time of the fatal accidents, it had not been sufficient in either case to prevent tragedy. Some thought that the problem was that the humans in the cars had simplv been too slow to react to an unexpected event when they thought the car was in charge. According to Constantine Samaras, a university engineering protessor, “When humans are the backup systems, we re prettv bad at doing what is necessarv to prevent crashes]. This is a challenge for this tran- sition to automation where there’s this muddled mixture of human responsibility and robOt responsibility. Manv saw autonomous venicles as a wav to improve-not degrade–road safetv. In 2017, more than 37,000 people died in car crashes in the United States. Clearly, humans were not pertect drivers. Self-driving cars, by contrast, did not get tired, frustrated, dis- tracted. or drunk, as humans often did when belind the wheel. A studv bv the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute analyzed more than 50 self-driving vehicles commissioned by Google, which had travelled about 1.3 million miles on roads in California and lexas. The Google Fleet was involved in just 1/ crashes over six years, with none of the incidents being the fault of the self-driving vehicles. Another study by McKinsey estimated that autonomous vehicles could reduce .J. auto accidents by yU percent However, others saw negative consequences in a world of autonomous driving. Driver- less vehicles could cost truckers, taxi drivers, and other driving professionals their jobs. Already, driverless trucks were being used to move iron ore at mines in Australia, and Canadian-based suncor Energy had automated its truck fleet, eliminating the jobs of 800 drivers. Companies engaged in other forms of transportation, such as busses, trains and airplanes, could see tewer customers, as people might choose to travel by car when it they were not burdened with the driving. If the number of accidents declined, auto repair shops and mechanics would likelv have less business, and lavoffs could occur. Another issue raised by critics of autonomous automobiles was the possibility that the vehicle’s computer systems might be hacked. As part of a planned experiment, hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek were able to access the controls of a self-driving Jeep Cherokee remotely, instructing it to roll out of a parking lot and into a grassy ditch. The person in the drivers seat at the ume, a lournaust trom wired magazine, was not con trolling the steering wheel or the pedals. Etfectively sateguarding against such hacking can be challenging, since self-driving cars have tar higher levels of connectivity than human- driven vehicles current V on the road. Will autonomous vehicles be widelv adopted in our society? The answer to this ques- tion is unclear. In a survey reported in The Washington Post, most Americans said they thought autonomous cars would be quite common within I> years. Seventy-four percent. however, said they did not expect to own one, and more than 60 percent said they would not want to walk or ride a bicycle anywhere near one. A study conducted by the Ameri can Automobile Association (AAA) shortly after the Uber and Tesla accidents reported that 73 percent of Americans said they would not ride in an autonomous vehicle. Greg Bannon, director of engineering at the AAA said, “Any incident invOlving an autonomous vehicle 1S likely to shake consumer trust, Which 1s a critical component to the widespread acceptance Or autonomous vehicles. Yet as anomous venicie technology gained momentum, governments stepped in to reguIdlE • In 2017, the National Highway and Iransportation Satety Administra- tion (NHTSA) released new federal guidelines for Automated Driving Systems (ADS) By 2017, 29 states had enacted legislation governing autonomous vehicles. Some states such as Florida and Arizona, encouraged the sate development, testing, and operation or sell-driving vehicles on their public roads, seeing this as an opportunity to encour- age business development. Delaware established the Advisory Council on Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, tasked with developing recommendations for innovative tools and strategies that could be used to prepare Delaware’s transportation network for these vehicles–an action also taken by numerous Other States While most people expect that fatal crashes involving autonomous vehicles Will occur again in the tuture. the question or whether self-driving cars impose an acceptable level Or risk relative to their benefits to society is a matter of ongoing debate Sources: “Study Savs Self-Driving Cars Are Safer Than Human-Driven Vehicles: Should You Believe It?” lech Times January 12. 2016. .com; “Hackers Have Self-Driving Cars in their Headlights,” Financial Times, March 15. 2018. www.t.com: “Autonomous Car Crashes: Who-or What-Is to Blame?” Knowledge@Wharton. April b knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu; “Are Autonomous Cars Reallv Safer than Human Drivers?” The Conversation Februarv 2. 2018. theconversation.com: “Autonomous Vehicles/Self-Drivina Vehicles Enacted Legislation.” National Conference or Stote Legislatures, May 21, LU18, www.ncsi.org/research/transportation;33 Industries other than AutO that Driverless Cars Could Turn Upside Down.” CB Insiahts. Mav 24. 2018 www.cbinsiahts.com: and “Most People Expect Driverless Cars to become Common, and lhev Worry, The Wash. )aton Post. June 4, 2018, www.washington.post. Discussion Questions .What are the benefits and Cos. or advantages and disadvantages, of autonomous driv ing technology to various corporate stakeholders and society? 2. Are the threats of harm trom autonomous vehicles simply an rISK, when compared to tatalities caused hv human-driven vehicles? 3. What steps could business, government, Or individual drivers take to reduce the risk of hacking m autonomous venicies! 4. Do you think tederal or state governments should regulate the emergence of autono mous driving technology, and if so how If you were the chiet technology officer of a company that was developing autonomous driven vehicles, what steps would you take to manage this technologv appropriately? I need this broken up by question and numbered.

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