Ethical Issues Faced in Engineering Design

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Ethical Issues in the Design of Ultra-Lightweight Vehicles DutchEVO In the period 1998 to 2004 a lightweight car was designed and to save weight, the floor in the car was raised for side impact protection, allowing for a lightweight door construction. Because of the high floor a venturi was formed under it, causing down force and compensating for the relatively high point of inertia. Biologically degradable materials are used for the hood and other non-carrying body panels. The door panels are made out of a single sheet of poly carbonate. Five ethical issues in the operationalization of sustainability were identified. 1. Personal transportation was not sustainable for achieving the lightweight design 2. Catalytic converters increase the amount of energy used. 3. Decreasing the mass of a car to lower energy consumption. 4. The combination of lightweight and recycling was very difficult to attain and recycling was given a low priority. 5. Design team called the DutchEVO “emotional sustainability” that led fun-to-drive message increasing the energy consumption. The trade-off between safety and sustainability were faced by the Engineers. The engineers wanted a lightweight car, meaning that all safety system should not be too heavy. Including airbags and safety systems used were disputed because will make a car heavy. The trade-off between safety and sustainability led to the second ethical problem that a light car will always come off worst in a crash with a heavier car so people in the light car will always be at a disadvantage. Trade-offs between safety and sustainability were made in which the mass of the car was usually given priority. Utilitarianism means maximizing happiness and reducing suffering among individuals of a society and the Engineers working at the DutchEVO car were more concerned about their new design instead of the moral and

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