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Google's Driverless Car and the Logic of Safety 510

Posted by timothy
from the professor-I-have-the-solution dept.
mikejuk writes "Google's driverless car could save more than 1 million deaths per year and tens of millions of injuries. It is an impressive achievement, but will we allow it to take over the wheel? Sebastian Thrun puts the case for it in a persuasive TED Talk video. However it may be OK for human drivers to kill millions of people each year but one human fatality might be enough to finish the driverless car project — in fact it might not even take a death as an injury might cause the same backlash. Robot drivers might kill far fewer people than a human driver but it remains to be seen if we can be logical enough to accept the occasional failure of algorithm or hardware. Put simply we might have all seen too many 'evil robot' movies."
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Google's Driverless Car and the Logic of Safety

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  • by snookerhog (1835110) on Saturday April 02, 2011 @11:55AM (#35693770)
    Sadly, safety is something that is not handled rationally by the masses. It is mostly an emotional judgement.
  • by Jason Pollock (45537) on Saturday April 02, 2011 @02:58PM (#35694898) Homepage

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic_collision

    Worldwide it was estimated in 2004 that 1.2 million people were killed (2.2% of all deaths) and 50 million more were injured in motor vehicle collisions.[1][39] India leads with 105,000 traffic deaths in a year, compared with over 96,000 in China.[40] This makes motor vehicle collisions the leading cause of injury death among children worldwide 10 – 19 years old (260,000 children die a year, 10 million are injured) [41] and the sixth leading preventable cause of death in the United States[42] (45,800 people died and 2.4 million were injured in 2005).[43] In Canada they are the cause of 48% of severe injuries.[44]

    Complete with references.

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