Will we soon see self-driving cars?

19 September, 2022

By Rosana Montes, Nacho Aguilera

AI is powered by data such as a car’s sensors and cameras, commonly referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT). Ensuring the safety of occupants and pedestrians raises ethical questions about their actual operation on the road.

The autonomous car is the quintessential example when it comes to AI and AI ethics. The activity of driving seemed to be something reserved only for humans, but we already have fleets of unmanned cabs circulating in large cities. To do this, these vehicles must have numerous sensors that capture as much information from the road as possible, such as signaling, traffic, users, the state of the car itself, and a long etcetera. To do this, devices are used within what is known as the Internet of Things (IoT), which, in simplified form, are electronic elements interconnected with each other that collect information from the environment on a massive scale.

If we think about it, driving is an activity that can be developed in a relatively monotonous way, and that is what makes it very attractive to be performed by a “robot”. Moreover, based on IoT data collection, we can determine that they consider many more parameters than a human being, extending their perception to a greater level of detail; all this would make them much safer. Is this safety real, what decisions are taken in case lives are at risk, whose responsibility is it in case of system failure, will “special” driving licenses be needed for this type of vehicles, are they exempt from possible “hacks”, are they exempt from possible “hacks”, and if so, how safe will they be?