By Adam Ozimek
Originally posted September 13, 2015
Skeptics of driverless cars have a variety of criticisms, from technical to demand based, but perhaps the most curious is the supposed ethical trolley problem it creates. While the question of how driverless cars will behave in ethical situations is interesting and will ultimately have to be answered by programmers, critics greatly exaggerate its importance. In addition, they assume that driverless cars have to be perfect rather than just better.
Patrick Lin asks “Is it better to save an adult or child? What about saving two (or three or ten) adults versus one child?” But seriously, how often do drivers actually make this decision? Accidents that provide this choice seem pretty rare. And if I am wrong and we’re actually living in a world rife with trolley problems for drivers, it seems likely that bad human driving and foresight probably creates many of them. Having driverless cars that don’t get distracted, don’t speed dangerously, and can see 360 degrees will make it less likely that split second life and death choices need to be made.
The entire article is here.