#13 Let it Go?

So, my article if you have yet to realize will be one about autonomous vehicles, specifically autonomous tractors in the field. I came to the realization that the topic might not have enough resources to fill up 10 pages or 2,000 words, so I will also be talking about autonomous machines in agriculture. Of course, there is many autonomous machines in agriculture, but on my research paper I will only be talking about autonomous tractors and milking robots. This blog post, however, will be primarily on autonomous tractors. So, if you are still not fed up with me speaking about autonomous machines keep reading.

So overall autonomous cars have been the talk of the year. We hear about autonomous cars emerging from all companies, Ford, Apple, Google, and more. So far, we have concluded that these cars are able to drive on their own, which is what they are made to do. But of course, a new product will always have defaults and ethical implications that will follow them until of course they are resolved. One of the many implications is, what happens when a car must chose to protect it owner, the driver, or pedestrians?

According to the article, “Are autonomous Cars ready to go at it Alone”, cars are not ready to go at it alone. There has been a lot of incidents that have happened where a driver must interfere and take control of the autonomous vehicle in order to avoid crashing or involving the car in some type of accident. So this makes me wonder, if autonomous vehicles are not as safe as they have portrayed them to be where does this leave tractors at in the rate of safety? Especially knowing that there is more research and attention going towards autonomous cars than tractors it makes me wonder how much safer are tractors if cars are not so safe at all.

See, but thats the thing. We cannot compare two whole different machines together. So, for an autonomous car, someone WILL be riding on it. The point of a car is to get a human being to and from a destination. An autonomous tractors purpose it to be able to plow fields, cut hay, and more. So, in other words an autonomous tractor does not need a person riding on it, unless for a special reason. Another point is that an autonomous car will be riding in the highway or road, where millions of people will be crossing and driving, thus exposure to different circumstances that can eventually lead to deathly accidents. On the other hand, an autonomous tractor will only be used in the fields, where not a lot of people will be at.

Overall, the comparison between these two is wrong and incorrect as they are two different machines.

Of course, just because they are not the same, it does not mean that autonomous tractors are 100 percent safe. We still have to acknowledge that there is millions of different situations that can take place. That topic will be for another day, another blog post.



2 thoughts on “#13 Let it Go?

  1. Hi Karina,

    I agree with you. I am very skeptical about technology taking over a lot of our everyday tasks such as driving. But I think that autonomous tractors might be a good thing. It has a set list of tasks that it should fulfill and it is doing it on a small scale, meaning it is only within the fields that an autonomous tractor will be working in. You’re right, an autonomous tractor does not need a human and so you cannot really compare the ethical issues that these two machines will entail. Overall, it is good to be aware of the differences between the two in order to address them as rightly as we can.



  2. I think it’s great that you are distinguishing autonomous cars and autonomous equipment. In doing so, your can point out that they have two very different ethical dilemmas. As with any topic, it is good to get the specifics right before the speculation. Reading this article got me thinking about the possible distinctions that could be made in the realm of internet anonymity, which is my paper topic. Taking the distinctions into consideration is an essential part of the ethical discussions that we’ve been having in this class.


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