Report an accessibility problem

Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering | Resources for Online Students

Autonomous vehicles driving on highwayThe Polytechnic School is offering a special summer course, Ethics of Technology Entrepreneurship: Autonomous Vehicles, taught by Jason Bronowitz and Carolyn Hirata. Feel free to reach out to if you’d like to discuss which version of the course to take. The TMC 498 option fulfills the university literacy and critical thinking (L) requirement and will be offered in the summer B session, 2020.

  • OMT 430: final paper (58 pages): focus on frameworks of ethical decision making
  • TMC 498: final paper (1015 pages): independent research on the topic, proposed by the student [fulfills (L) requirement]
  • OMT 504: final paper (1520 pages): independent research on the topic, grounded in additional academic sources, proposed by the student
Course description:
Today, technology is used to help drivers from becoming distracted, avoid road hazards and automate many navigation tasks. The future of autonomous vehicles will eclipse assisted driving technology, operating much differently and engendering a new realm of ethical and moral questions. This course explores ethical issues in technological entrepreneurship, specifically focusing on the implementation of autonomous vehicles. Includes the relationship between technology, ethics and law. Topics covered include: How should communities determine policies on autonomous vehicles? (How) should autonomous vehicles be programmed to make life-and-death decisions? How should society navigate between what is technologically feasible and what is desirable?
“Why should you have to worry about the fate of humankind when other people should be doing so, including our government and business leaders? The reason is that they are not worrying about the fate of humankind—at least, not enough, and not in the right ways. Technology companies are trying to build standards for the Internet of Things; scientists are attempting to develop ethical standards for human-genome editing; and policy makers at the FAA are developing regulations for drones. They are all narrowly focused. Very few people are looking at the big picture, because the big picture is messy and defies simple models. With so many technologies all advancing exponentially at the same time, it is very hard to see the forest for the trees.”
—Vivek Wadhwa and Alex Salkever in The Driver in the Driverless Car: How Our Technology Choices Will Create the Future