Artificial intelligence (AI) is in a development that will fundamentally change our lives, our mobility and our business world. Following this development closely, Audi launched an initiative to contribute to the responsible use of new technological opportunities; &Audi. Bringing together experts, scientists and international opinion leaders in the field of artificial intelligence, &Audi aims to raise awareness about how the future can and should be shaped in the age of artificial intelligence with its "SocAIty" study.
For the widespread acceptance of autonomous driving, both the technological maturity of the driving systems and the social dimension are of great importance. Here are the highlights, urban legends and misconceptions from the “SocAIty” study, in which Audi compiled detailed information on the future of autonomous driving:
Driverless vehicles will be like normal vehicles
When it comes to the range of electric cars, aerodynamics is an important factor and therefore continues to play a prominent role in the design. With the increase in automation, the appearance of cars and other transportation vehicles will not change radically in this sense. But the reality is that design will focus on the interior in the future, as occupant comfort will be a priority. This will bring options such as that the seats will no longer be in the direction of travel in certain use cases. This freedom in interior design will also offer a wide variety of options. Space for passengers will be maximized by allowing temporary concealment of anything that is no longer needed, such as pedals, gearshift and steering wheel.
Once the software is developed and available, autonomous vehicles will be able to go anywhere.
Driving autonomous vehicles on the road will require software that is completely reliable not just for the vehicle but for the entire environment. This will gradually change the look of our cities on issues such as infrastructure, smart traffic lights and road sensors. Cities will become more digital, providing a viable ecosystem for an increasing number of autonomous cars. Thus, it will create safer and more comfortable cities where traffic can flow without interruptions or congestion.
Driving in autonomous vehicles will not be fun
This myth is one of the most worrying issues for car enthusiasts: being doomed to the role of a sedentary passenger. Some vehicle users believe that the pleasure of feeling their feet on the pedal and their hands on the steering wheel during use will disappear and they do not want this. However, such a situation is not real: autonomous vehicles will not put an end to the fun behind the wheel. No manufacturer can prevent their customers from wanting to use their own vehicles. In the future, vehicle owners will continue to have the option of driving their vehicle themselves or transferring control to the vehicle on preferred roads or in traffic jams.
Autonomous vehicles are vulnerable to hacking
One of the question marks about autonomous vehicles is that they will be vulnerable to hackers. Autonomous vehicles will not be more vulnerable than other cars. But on the other hand, the impact of a hacker attack on the safety-related systems of an autonomous car can have far more serious consequences. That's why manufacturers are constantly developing protective measures against cyber attacks and improving their protection mechanisms. As vehicles become more connected to their environment, so does the effort required for security and cybersecurity.
Autonomous vehicles will require less parking space
Autonomous vehicles do not require less parking space. But they use it much more efficiently. In addition, when it comes to the shared use of the car, the density of vehicles will decrease in metropolitan areas.
Autonomous vehicles will have to make life-or-death decisions
Regarding autonomous driving, the most decisive factor is; is that the decision rests with the people who programmed the car, not the car itself. The tool can only reflect what the software specifies. Many people have questions about whether a machine can make the right choice in a dangerous situation. However, this question was not included in our lives with autonomous driving for the first time. In fact, it has been a hotly debated topic in ethics for decades, as illustrated in the classic thought experiment "The Tramway Dilemma."
Autonomous driving has revived this debate once again. This time, however, experts say the central point of the discussion is that a self-driving vehicle cannot make its own decision in a dangerous situation, it will only reflect software. In short, he will make the choices his creators have given him. Autonomous vehicles can only take on the ethical decisions and values of the people who designed them and implement them without their own interpretation.
Autonomous vehicles will be so expensive that few people can afford it.
The development of autonomous cars is an undertaking that requires significant investment. In the short and medium term, this of course also affects product costs. However, in the long term, once they are ready for mass production and development costs are amortized accordingly, prices are expected to fall again. In addition, the predicted increase in road safety will significantly reduce the damage to an autonomous car. This will likely further reduce repair and insurance costs. Another important factor is the expected change in the use of mobility: especially in big cities, autonomous vehicles will belong to mobility providers rather than individuals. Or it will be shared by more than one person through sharing concepts. This will increase the efficiency of use and have a positive effect on costs.