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ResourcesHuman Research EthicsThe Lose-Lose Ethics of Testing Self-Driving Cars in Public – Wired (Aarian Marshall | May 2018)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

The Lose-Lose Ethics of Testing Self-Driving Cars in Public – Wired (Aarian Marshall | May 2018)

Published/Released on May 23, 2018 | Posted by Admin on May 30, 2018 / , , ,
 


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HERE’S THE STRANGE thing about where I live: When I walk outside my office, down to the busy, honk-filled four-lane road that runs by it, I’m immediately part of a wide scale science experiment. A lot of us are, here in San Francisco, in metro Phoenix, Arizona, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We didn’t sign any forms or cast any votes, but here we are, in a living lab for self-driving tech.

The fatalities associated with the real world/on-public-roads testing of autonomous cars highlight risk considerations for research projects that are conducted in the community – where the potential harms reach well beyond the direct participants.

A lot of the time, that’s exciting. One day, maybe crossing the street on foot at night won’t feeling like taking your life into your hands. This really could be the way to stop the deaths of 40,000 people on US roads every year. The blind, the old, those who can’t operate vehicles—their lives might shift wholly in a world where vehicles drive themselves.

Other times, it’s terrifying. This week, the living lab claimed its first life: a self-driving Uber hit and killed 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, late Sunday evening as she crossed a wide road in Tempe, Arizona.

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