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Research Dossier
Dr. Guenzel
Jacob Kent
With artificial intelligence working its way into our society more and more every day,
major industries are beginning to adopt this new technology. The area that I will be focusing on
is artificial intelligence in the automotive industry. Artificial intelligence in vehicle is a huge
step, and for many it is in the right direction. However, what many fail to acknowledge is the
ethical issues that arise with artificial intelligence in vehicles. This in itself has many categories,
should someone need a license to operate a self-driving car, should it be mandatory to own a
vehicle with this technology equipped, who is at fault if an accident were to occur, or what
should a self-driving vehicle be programmed to do in an emergency situation.
My main focus will be, what should a self-driving vehicle be programmed to in an
emergency situation. I chose this because it relates the most to my major, which is mechanical
engineering. When these self-driving vehicles get programmed to make decisions in emergency
situation, we have to think about who is in charge of programming them. The programmer has to
take in all of the perspectives of the concerned parties. These perspectives include the vehicle
operator, the pedestrian, the insurance company, and the vehicle manufacture. Within the
operator’s perspective there are some that would prefer to put themselves in harm rather than a
pedestrian, and there are others that would prefer to protect themselves. Form the perspective of
a pedestrian, they would most likely not want to be injured by a vehicle. From the perspective of
the insurance company, they would most likely prefer the outcome where the least amount of
damage occurs, whether that be to the vehicle, operator, property, or pedestrian. From the
perspective of the vehicle manufacture, they would most likely want to go with the choice that is
viewed as ethical, in order to maintain a good image, or they might want to go with whatever
would get them the most customers. The problem with this is, there is no correct answer. When it
come to ethical decisions, there is always a split on what should be done, and the answer that
most would choose, is what becomes acceptable. An example of this is the classic trolley
problem, where there are a group of people tied down on one track, and a single person tied
down on the other track and you have to decide which track the trolley goes down. Now most
would choose the single person, while a few would choose the group. It can get more
complicated however when other variables get involved, such as age, gender, and background.
One thing that most people have in common, is thy would rather save children over seniors, and
women over men.
In an ideal world, these self-driving vehicles would be programmed for every situation,
however, that is most likely not what is going to happen as the demand is increasing there will
always be variables that might not be accounted for. In my opinion, self-driving vehicles should
not be released until they are perfected, or the manufacture takes all of the responsibility.
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Research Proposal
Subject: The Problems with AI in the Automotive Industry
Topic description: The ethical issues raised by artificial intelligence in the automotive industry
is the main topic that I would like to focus on. A current issue for this is what will a self-driving
car do when put into an emergency situation with a pedestrian. Will the car try to avoid the
pedestrian and cause harm to the passenger, try to save the passenger and cause harm to the
pedestrian, or do damage to property and possibly harm an involved party?
Documentation Style: Mechanical Engineering uses a style called Author-Date format, it is very
similar to APA, however, I will be using MLA.
Purpose: My major is Mechanical Engineering and I would eventually like to be working in the
automotive industry. This topic will be beneficial to me because artificial intelligence is
becoming more common and will most likely play a large role in the future of engineering.
Intended audience: The intended audience of this research will be my fellow classmates and
anyone who will be visiting my e-portfolio.
Research Question / Preliminary Thesis / Argument: With artificial intelligence becoming
more prevalent in today’s technologies, many things are becoming automated, including
automobiles in the form of self-driving cars. This raises the ethical question of what should a
driverless vehicle do in an emergency situation? What guidelines should car manufactures follow
to ensure the safety of passengers and pedestrians?
Types of research areas: The majority of my research will be from the internet, consisting of
articles and community posts; however, I will be conducting surveys to gather people’s opinions
on self-driving cars, and what they would do in a certain situation. I also have a few scholarly
Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, Automobile History, Autonomous Vehicle, Self-driving,
Ethical Dilemmas, Autopilot
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Research Schedule:
Mon Feb 10 Revised Research Proposal
Wed Feb 12 Inquiry and Research Writing in the Disciplines
Mon Feb 17 Digital Paper Trail
Wed Feb 19 Responding to other Students’ Writing
Mon Feb 24 Workshop Draft Research Dossier
Wed Feb 26 Peer-Review Workshop 1, Toulmin Mode of Argumentation
Mon Mar 2 A Rhetorician’s View: Rhetorical Analysis 1
Wed Mar 4 Final Draft Research Dossier, Rhetorical Analysis 2
Mar 7 - 15 Spring Break
Mon Mar 16 Rhetorical Analysis 3
Wed Mar 18 Revision Strategies of Experienced Adult Writers
Mon Mar 23 Workshop Draft Rhetorical Analysis
Wed Mar 25 Peer-Review Workshop 2
Mon Mar 30 Pitch your TED Talk
Wed Apr 1 Workshop Draft 1 Research Paper, Final Draft Rhetorical Analysis
Fri Apr 3 Peer-Review Workshop Draft 1 Research Paper
Mon Apr 6 Workshop Draft 2 Research Paper
Wed Apr 8 Workshop Draft 3 Research Paper
Fri Apr 10 Peer-Review Workshop Drat 3 Research Paper
Mon Apr 13 Workshop Draft Self-Assessment/Reflection
Wed Apr 15 Final Draft Argumentative Research Paper, Peer-Review Workshop Draft Self-Assessment/Reflection
Mon Apr 20 Course Evaluation, Extra Credit Opportunity – Writing, TED Student Lounge
Tue Apr 21 TED Talk Presentations, E-Portfolios, Feedback to Research Presentations
I will be conducting research on Monday and Wednesday on a weekly basis. These are my days off from all of my
other classes, and I also have no work outside of school on these days.
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Annotated Bibliography
Alaniz, Anthony. “When Are Self-Driving Cars Actually Coming?” Popular Mechanics, Popular
Mechanics, 25 Apr. 2019, www.popularmechanics.com/cars/car-
This article goes over the different levels of driving assistance and when we can
expect to see them available in the consumer market.
The author of this article, Anthony Alaniz, has many other articles about vehicle
safety and technology.
He also stays technical and has very little bias.
 This source might not be as useful for my paper, but it gives some good insight to
what technology is coming.
arXiv “Why Self-Driving Cars Must Be Programmed to Kill.” MIT Technology Review, MIT
Technology Review, 26 Oct. 2015, www.technologyreview.com/s/542626/why-self-
This article goes over some of the ethical issues of self-driving cars and shows
some of the perspective where it would be beneficial for the car to be
programmed to kill.
This publisher has many related articles and mainly focuses on new technologies.
There is some bias in this article, but it is showing a perspective.
 This source will be useful when going into detail on the different perspectives.
Boudette, Neal E. “Despite High Hopes, Self-Driving Cars Are 'Way in the Future'.” The New
York Times, The New York Times, 17 July 2019,
This article covers why this technology is not yet in reach, as many different
aspects are required for different environments and speeds.
The author of this article, Neal Boudette, has many recent articles and mainly
focuses on the automotive industry.
His information throughout this article is very informational and lacks a strong
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 This article will be useful in my paper, as it gives a perspective on why we aren’t

ready for this technology yet.
Cunneen, Martin, et al. “Autonomous Vehicles and Avoiding the Trolley (Dilemma): Vehicle
Perception, Classification, and the Challenges of Framing Decision Ethics.” Cybernetics
& Systems, vol. 51, no. 1, Jan. 2020, pp. 59–80. EBSCOhost,
This article aims to introduce a degree of technological and ethical realism to the
framing of autonomous vehicle perception and decisionality. The objective is to
move the socioethical dialog surrounding autonomous vehicle decisionality from
the dominance of “trolley framings” to more pressing ethical issues.
This scholary article is from the University of Limerick and has many authors.
This gives it different perspectives and little bias.
 The information is bias free and provides many different perspectives, which will
be helpful in my paper.
Foster, Christopher G., and Ken W. Purdy. “History of the Automobile.” Encyclopædia
Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 18 Jan. 2018,
This article covers the history of automobiles, all the way from steam power to
This article has many contributors with some being former managers of
automobile manufactures, historians, and engineers.
The information in this article is purely factual and gives a good timeline and
shows how we have progressed with vehicles.
 This source will be helpful in showing how long it takes for new vehicle
technology to become practical.
Himmelreich, Johannes. “The Everyday Ethical Challenges of Self-Driving Cars.” The
Conversation, 31 Oct. 2019, theconversation.com/the-everyday-ethical-challenges-of-
This article covers some ethical issues and introduces the idea that new laws
would need to be put into place for these vehicles.
The author of this article, Johannes Himmerlreich, is an interdisciplinary
philosopher whose focus is fairness and justice.
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He has some bias, but provides support from multiple perspectives.
 This source has the perspective of a philosopher and will be useful in my
History.com. “Automobile History.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 26 Apr. 2010,
This article covers the history of automobiles and their impact on the world.
This article was published by History.com.

This article is purely factual with no bias.

 This will help contribute to my research by showing the effect that vehicles have
on society. This article
Lin, Patrick. “The Ethics of Autonomous Cars.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 8 Oct.
2013, www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/10/the-ethics-of-autonomous-
This article covers some ethical issues and suggest that ethics need to pave the
way for this new technology for it to benefit the society.
The author of this article, Patrick Lin, has many other works about artificial
intelligence and ethical issues. He is also a professor of philosophy and the
director of an Ethics + Emerging Sciences group.
He has bias toward what is seen right from an ethical standpoint,
 This source provides more perspectives and will be helpful to my research.
Linder, Courtney. “A Self-Driving Freight Truck Just Drove Across the Country to Deliver
Butter.” Popular Mechanics, Popular Mechanics, 12 Dec. 2019,
This article is about an autonomous truck that made a 2,800-mile delivery.
The author, Courtney Linder, has many articles about technology, but also writes
about other topics. She is also a graduate from the University of Pittsburg where
she studied English and Economics.
This article is technology news and is providing information without a strong
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 This article will be useful to my research because it shows flaws with artificial
Nowak, Peter. “The Ethical Dilemmas of Self-Driving Cars.” The Globe and Mail, 2 Feb. 2018,
This article goes over some of the ethical issues of self-driving cars, and how its
not much different than taking a taxi as you are already giving up control.
The author of this article, Peter Nowak, has 20 years of experience writing about
technology and how it affects the world.
There is some bias in this article and it helps top show his perspective.
 This source provides some different perspectives and will be useful in my
Nyholm, Sven. “The Ethics of Crashes with Self‐Driving Cars: A Roadmap, I.” Wiley Online
Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 21 May 2018,
This scholarly article covers the ethics of crashes with autonomous vehicles. It
also shows the different possibilities of a crash and shows the ethical issues.
The author, Sven Nyholm, has many other articles on artificial intelligence and
similar topics. He is also an assistant professor of philosophy and ethics at the
Eindhoven University of Technology.
There is very little bias in this article as it is a scholarly article with the purpose of
providing information.
 This article will be useful to my research because it show some of the
consequences to possible outcomes.
“Self-Driving Cars Are Already Really Safe.” CNNMoney, Cable News Network,
This news story is about a pedestrian being struck and killed by a self-driving
It was published by CNN which can be seen as a down side since it is a major
news source
This article has some bias; however, I am only after the facts.
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 This article will be useful in my research because it shows some of the flaws of
these new systems, and what can happen when something goes wrong.
“Vehicular Automation.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 2 Mar. 2020,
This Wikipedia article covers vehicular automation levels, what kinds of vehicles
it applies to, and what vehicles already have some level of automation.
This is a Wikipedia article so it does not have a single author, however it has 63
references and is very factual.
This article has no bias as it is factual.
 This article will be useful to my research because it shows how far artificial
intelligence extends into different categories of vehicles.