Bioethics Blogs

Web Roundup: Transportation Technologies and Futures by Lily Shapiro

This month’s Web Roundup is about transportation—technologies, politics, and histories. Much of it has to do with driverless/autonomous cars, which have been in the news a lot this month.

Time has a piece on the technical details of how driverless cars work, and what hurdles need to be overcome before they do. The Atlantic’s CityLab has an interesting article on the project of “humanizing driverless cars,” which aims to address the fact that autonomous cars may have the technical ability to drive in such a way that makes human passengers uncomfortable. For instance, they did a test with a car passing through a narrow gate, something most drivers would slow considerably to do, but the autonomous car, judging the distance and clearance, went through at around 30 M.P.H., which rather terrified the human passengers. How do you make a driverless car that still drives like a human?

Daimler unveiled a demonstration of a driverless truck in Germany, which it hopes to be able to mass-produce by 2025, with the goal of reducing carbon emissions and road accidents.

Is your connected car spying on you? From the BBC. The BBC also has a longish review article on various forms of transportation technology, with varying degrees of futuristic-ness (jet packs to trains to autonomous cars).

In, To Make Roads Safe, Make Them Feel Dangerous, The Atlantic reviews research relating to what kinds of signs, cues, and road infrastructure makes people more or less cautious drivers, along with efforts in the U.S. and Europe to make roads “feel” more dangerous—narrower lanes, fewer traffic lights—which correlate with more cautious driving.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.