To hell with the Trolley Problem: here's a much more interesting list of self-driving car weirdnesses

Jan Chipchase has assembled a provocative, imaginative, excellent list of "driver behaviors in a world of autonomous mobility" that go far beyond the lazy exercise of porting the "trolley problem" to self-driving cars and other autonomous vehicles, including flying drones.

Chipchase, rather, explores the way that existing dysfunctions in our economic, legal and social relations will be affected by autonomous vehicles: for example, the problem of "Autonomously Driving While Black" ("The prevalence of in-car sensors and the ability to more easily create a persistent trace of police officers will shift accountability, as will the ways in which those officers side-step accountability") -- rather than ending the practice of racial profiling by police, self-driving cars could give it a veneer of empirical respectability (see also: machine-learning for parole; sentencing; and "predictive policing").

ConvoyAds: The coordination of autonomous vehicles by an advertising agency for the purpose of communicating lifestyle, and/or to engage pedestrians attention. As a simple example, a five car convoy, stereos tuned to the same content, windows wound down. More developed examples: vehicle displays and engagement with people in close proximity via social media; tightly choreographed driving to wow the audience. Already visible in a crude form in Tokyo, this will become more nuanced and globally mainstream. While ad agencies looking for an edge will get away with ConvoyAds for a while, in a race to the bottom, they will be rapidly become a social nuisance. However, over time the local authority’s own urban sensing platforms will allow them to leverage retroactive fines to the advertisers based on annoyance/engagement, creating a viable ad platform. Long term, the authorities will view ConvoyAds as a consistent revenue stream, similar to parking and speeding fines today. Cities will legislate autonomous ad-free zones, where it is illegal to show advertising from moving vehicles. (Beijing has this already with ads banned from vehicles passing through Tiananmen Square).

The prevalence of capatcha street furniture, itself autonomous and reconfigurable, introduced by residents looking to filter out autonomous vehicles from passing through their neighbourhoods. Introduced by one of the early pioneers of Baidu’s Self Driving Car project, with an acute sense of algorithm. (The opposite will also be true, with human-drivers filtered out of many contexts, it will be interesting to see how our cities are carved up.)


Driver Behaviours In A World of Autonomous Mobility
[Jan Chipchase/Medium]


(via Beyond the Beyond)


(Image: Magic Highway USA, Disney)

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