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Date: 2/11/2016

To: Professor Steffen Guenzel


From: Chad Bement
Subject of my paper: The Ethics behind Autonomous Cars

Topic description: Every time a car heads out onto the road, drivers are forced to make moral
and ethical decisions that impact not only their safety, but also the safety of others. Does the
driver go faster than the speed limit to stay with the flow of traffic? How does a driver operate
behind the wheel different to one that is programmed with logic and sensors? Allowing
autonomous vehicles to use logic to operate on the road has created a problem among
technologists and ethicists. Can these autonomous cars operate well enough alongside regular
cars where there are less accidents and problems with the cohesion?

Purpose: My major is mechanical and aerospace engineering. Therefore, looking at how


autonomous vehicles plan to fit into our society and how this will be done is right up my alley
for a major choice. I can research the systems and technology behind these cars that make them
function as well as humans can operate a car. This topic interests me because I crave engineering
and specifically cars. Learning how cars work is intriguing and generates many questions that car
makers need answers to implement this technology.

Preliminary Thesis/Argument: Self-driving

cars are already in production and cruising the streets.


Before they can become widespread, carmakers must solve an impossible ethical dilemma of
algorithmic morality and this prompts me to examine the issues behind autonomous vehicles.

Intended audience: My intended audience is everyone on the planet. Almost all humans can come in
contact with autonomous cars so everyone is affected by the progress of this technology. You do not have
to a specialist in this field to understand the basics behind driverless cars. People reading this will
understand how current autonomous cars works and what is in the making to improve the technology.

Types of research areas: I will be using scholarly articles, internet, and professional research to back my
claims up.

Kinds of sources: I will use the Internet for the most part because I can pull a significant amount of
generally accepted claims about autonomous cars. Also, professional and scholar research will help me
understand the specific technology and how that works to make a claim about autonomous cars.

Graphs or charts: Some of the graphs I found included the outlook on the huge insurance cuts for
autonomous cars as well as some stats to back up self-driving cars. One graph I pulled that 90% of
accidents occur because of driver error. Maybe through logic and programming autonomous cars can
reduce this greatly.

Documentation Style: MLA

Tentative List of References:

"Current Research Topics." AutoNOMOS Labs. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.

"Self-Driving Vehicles Offer Potential Benefits, Policy Challenges for Lawmakers." Autonomous
Vehicle Technology: A Guide for Policymakers. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.

The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.

"Why Self-Driving Cars Must Be Programmed to Kill." MIT Technology Review. N.p., n.d. Web. 11
Feb. 2016.