Noizz: Autonomous Vehicles Are Already Better Drivers Than Humans

In an interview with the German lifestyle website Noizz, Chris Boos talks about autonomous driving and the related technical and social issues surrounding this highly debated technology.

AI expert Boos explains the technology behind autonomous vehicles by comparing it to a joystick in a computer game: The cameras and sensors on the car provide information to a neural network that processes the data and uses pattern recognition to trigger a reaction in the steering wheel, the gas pedal or the brake. According to Chris Boos, current autonomous driving systems are technically very advanced. The biggest technological challenge is deciding how much computing capacity should be installed in a car.

When asked about the high number of accidents involving autonomous vehicles, Boos claims that the number of accidents due to autonomous vehicles pales in comparison to the number of accidents as a result of human faults. A much larger safety issue with autonomous vehicles relates to the security of the data infrastructure, which can be hacked.

Another issue that is frequently discussed when debating the acceptance of autonomous vehicles is that autonomous driving takes away the joy of driving. Boos disagrees with this argument, however, noting that the acceptance surrounding this technology will ultimately be based on the financial benefit that it gives: If autonomous driving lowers the cost per kilometer by 90 percent, people will opt for the autonomous vehicles, even though they may enjoy driving. Furthermore, Chris Boos sees additional benefits in autonomous vehicles, such as space availability in cities, as well as less pollution due to fewer traffic jams.

Finally, Chris notes that the common ethical debate that surrounds this technology, where an autonomous car may have to decide how to act in a situation where an accident is imminent, is ultimately fruitless. Just as there is no ethical driver, there can be no ethical vehicle. Human drivers follow their instincts in an emergency situation and do not debate the ethics of their driving decisions. Boos states that consumers should decide for themselves if they would like to use an autonomous vehicle based on available statistics and other information.

Arago Redaktion 13. June 2017

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