Wie sicher ist sicher genug bei Autonomen Fahrzeugen? Eine spannende Frage, die es zu klären gilt.
Software engineers and industry leaders like Elon Musk like to debate how safe is safe. Musk is combative when it comes to this subject, practically accusing journalists who say bad things about Autopilot of being complicit in any deaths that result from people choosing not to activate their Autopilot systems. He says any reduction in highway fatalities is a good thing and it’s hard to argue against him on that subject.
But others disagree. Amnon Shashua, CEO of Mobileye, told Reuters recently that 40 deaths a year while riding in an autonomous car would be acceptable. That is several orders of magnitude less than the current rate of traffic fatalities. To him, cutting deaths by 50% is not an acceptable result. Musk seems to have a higher tolerance in this regard than Shashua and would probably be delighted to cut the death rate by half, although he has never said so publicly.
Researchers in China were curious what the public thinks on the subject of acceptable fatalities. Peng Liu and Run Yang of Tianjin University and Zhigang Xu of Chang’an University asked 499 people in the city of Tianjin to rate the level of risk they were willing to accept when it comes to riding in a car with a human driver or a self-driving car. The tolerance for risk was expressed either in terms of fatalities per kilometers driven or fatalities per population size. Respondents were asked to accept or reject each traffic risk scenario at one of four levels — never accept, hard to accept, easy to accept, or fully accept, according to Science Daily.
The results have been published recently in the journal Risk Analysis. The researchers found that people are willing to accept autonomous vehicles if they are 4 to 5 times safer than a car with a human driver. In other words, they should be able to reduce the danger of death or injury while driving by 75% to 80% — more than Shashua wants, less than Musk seems happy with.
In other words, people are comfortable with the idea of self-driving vehicles if the risk factor is roughly the same as it is today for other public modes of transportation such as buses, railroads, and airplanes. “Our results and method may help government authorities to establish clear safety requirements for regulating self driving vehicles and also help manufacturers meet consumers’ expectations for [such vehicles],” says Peng Liu, who is an assistant professor of industrial engineering.