As the development of autonomous vehicles proceeds full-speed ahead, it is often said that this new, disruptive form of transportation will change everything. Such a claim has drawn both philosophical and public attention to what could be called ethical emergencies: imaginary situations ranging from life-or-death trolley-problem conundrums to large-scale cyber-attacks on mobility networks. This perspective puts other important, but less dramatic, ethical dilemmas connected with driverless vehicles at risk of being underexplored or simply ignored. The primary focus of the original essays collected together in this volume shifts to considering these issues, ones arising out of more everyday human-autonomous vehicle relations and encounters. Topics investigated range from how driverless vehicles ethically affect what it is to be a pedestrian to how they could inspire more opportunities for social justice, along with a consideration of the need for policy makers to look at the softer impacts of driverless cars. Overall, this volume contributes to defining a new area of exploration connected to the ethics of driverless vehicles, one that should appeal not only to philosophers of technology but to engineering designers, regulators, and urban planners as well.
Contributors: Jason Borenstein, Jeremy Carp, Shane Epting, Sven Ove Hansson, Joseph Herkert, Ike Kamphof, Robert Kirkman, Diane Michelfelder, Keith Miller, Sven Nyholm, Robert Rosenberger, Patrick Schmidt, Tsjalling Swierstra, and Galit Wellner
Diane Michelfelder is professor of philosophy at Macalester College. Her scholarly interests focus on the ethical dimensions of our relations to, and the design of, Internet-embedded technologies and technological systems. A past president of the Society for Philosophy and Technology, she is currently co-editor-in-chief of that society’s journal, Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology.
Diane P. Michelfelder
Sven Ove Hansson
Patrick Schmidt and Jeremy Carp
Joseph Herkert, Jason Borenstein, and Keith Miller
Ike Kamphof and Tsjalling Swierstra
About the Contributors
Edited by Michelfelder, this fascinating collection offers philosophical essays on the dilemmas presented by autonomy in vehicles. The book is the ninth volume in the publisher's "Philosophy, Technology and Society" series. These essays ask questions not about how we will achieve vehicular autonomy, but about the ramifications of autonomous vehicles. When computers and artificial intelligence take the helm of a multiton, fast-moving vehicle, who is responsible for an accident? What value does the vehicle's intelligence put on the life of the vehicle's occupants as opposed to that of a pedestrian, or the occupants of another vehicle? Autonomous vehicles may be touted for the safety factors they can bring to roads throughout the world, but what is to be given up in exchange for that safety? The contributions collected in this volume can be excellent springboards for considering the ethical conundrums of advancing technology, potentially useful, for example, as supporting literature for philosophical or argumentative student essay assignments. Students and professionals alike will appreciate this book. Highly recommended. All readers.