self-driving car

self-driving car

Writing a term paper according to the provided outline(TermPaperOutline.docx), and the topic is “Should self-driving car be legal on the road?”. Aim for between 12 and 15 pages, with the length depending in part on the amount of factual background that you need to provide for the audience. Your target audience for the paper is an educated professional who is familiar with computers (as a user) and what is going on in the world, but is not a computer scientist. That’s whom you want to convince that your position is correct.

There must be a bibliography/references section using either the APA guidelines (see Writing Arguments for details) OR ACM/IEEE format. Do not use MLA format.

Make sure that the references you cite are appropriate, correctly formatted and all appear consistently in both the body of the text (citations) and in the references/bibliography section.

Should self-driving cars be legal on the road?

Introduction and background

In 2010, Google revealed that it has been working on the self-driving car that can operate without a driver’s intervention. It can drive itself and maintain a safe distance in steady traffic. It can read road signs and follow traffic regulations.  The incentives behind these driverless cars are the reduction of road accidents and congestions, alongwith providing a safer road condition for human beings. Experts believe that “Robot drivers react faster than humans, have 360-degree perception and do not get distracted, sleepy or intoxicated, the engineers argue. They speak in terms of lives saved and injuries avoided — more than 37,000 people died in car accidents in the United States in 2008.”[2]Although the idea behind these intelligent robot-driving vehicles is beneficial for human beings, these vehicles have their limitations and ethical problems arise. Are these self-driving cars really safer than human operated vehicles? Should these self-driving cars be legal on public roads? Despite the fact that this new technology is still under development, I still think it is necessary to discuss related ethical problems beforehand.



I would like to claim that the development and the utilization of self-driving cars will be beneficial to human beings and should be well developed. Since this new technology can not only make our road conditions better, it can also increase the utilization of vehicles and dramatically reduce the number of cars on the road, I believe this new technology should be made legal on public roads. In order for my opinion to be convincible, the following descriptions of how a Google self-driving car works can provide an example of how safe and efficient a self-driving vehicle is compared to automobiles driven by human drivers.There is a huge difference between human driving and robot driving. The benefits of robot driving is apparent, as machines do not experience panic and can therefore make scientific decisions that are technically most beneficial and secure for the vehicle’s passengers.



However, many argue that, precisely because of this lack of emotion, robot driving could raise serious moral issues. Can the self-driving car make the right decision under some dangerous scenario? One classical dilemma, proposed by philosophers Philippa Foot and Judith Jarvis Thomson, is called the Trolley Problem.One of the most popular examples is the school-bus variant of the classic trolley problem in philosophy: On a narrow road, your robotic car detects an imminent head-on crash with a non-robotic vehicle — a school bus full of kids, or perhaps a carload of teenagers bent on playing “chicken” with you, knowing that your car is programmed to avoid crashes. Your car, naturally, swerves to avoid the crash, sending it into a ditch or a tree and killing you in the process.

Support of Counterargument

The decisions made to solve these sorts of dilemma should be made beforehand, supported by the MIT Technology Review, “However, that’s true only if intricate preparations have been made beforehand, with the car’s exact route, including driveways, extensively mapped. Both computers and humans must later pore over; data from multiple passes by a special sensor vehicle meter by meter. It’s vastly more effort than what’s needed for Google Maps.”[6]Human drivers may be forgiven for making an instinctive but nonetheless bad split-second decision, such as swerving into incoming traffic rather than the other way into a field. But programmers and designers of automated cars don’t have that luxury, since they do have the time to get it right and therefore bear more responsibility for bad outcomes.


Explanation against counterargument

The robot-driving vehicle seems not able to deal very well in these dilemma,however humanssometimes can’t make right decisions as well. Human beings intuitively intend to protect themselves and passengers in the vehicle, instead of the one outside of the vehicle.



Thus, the self-driving cars can preform at least as well as human beings does in most of the scenarios because of the analysis aforementioned. In a long term, this new technology will benefit us in many different ways, not only in improving the roadway’s conditions, but also increase the utilization of vehicle and reduce pollutions problems that we are facing today. “Now is the time for us all to be looking at vehicles on the road the same way we look at smartphones, laptops and tablets,” says Bill Ford Jr., executive chairman of Ford Motor Co., “as pieces of a much bigger, richer network.”(Forbes)




  1. Nevada Passes Law Authorizing Driverless Car. Forbes
  2. Google Cars Drive Themselves, in Traffic. The New York Times
  3. Look, no hands. The Economist
  1.  Patrick Lin. (2013) The Ethics of Saving Lives With Autonomous Cars Is Far Murkier Than You Think.
  2. How Google’s Self-driving Car Works. IEEE Spectrum
  3. Hidden Obstacle For Google’s Self-driving Car. MIT Technology Review
  4. Automated Vehicle Are Probably Legal In The United State. Stanford Law School, The Center for Internet and Society
  5. Julie L. Jones, Autonomous Vehicle Report. Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle.
  6. Self-Driving Car Test: Steve Mahan. Google
  1. Eric Jaffe, The First Look at How Google’s Self-Driving Car Handles City Streets. CityLab
  2. Silicon Valley vs. Detroit: The Battle For The Car Of The Future. Forbes
  3. With Driverless Cars, Once Again It Is California Leading The Way. Forbes



………………Answer preview…………………

In 2010, Google revealed that it has been working on the self-driving car that could operate without a driver’s intervention. This car has got the ability to drive itself and maintain a safe distance in steady traffic……………………….

3862 words

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