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Thursday, March 16, 2017

The big moral dilemma facing self-driving cars

Steven Overly
The Washington Post
Originally published February 27, 2017

How many people could self-driving cars kill before we would no longer tolerate them?

This once-hypothetical question is now taking on greater urgency, particularly among policymakers in Washington. The promise of autonomous vehicles is that they will make our roads safer and more efficient, but no technology is without its shortcomings and unintended consequences — in this instance, potentially fatal consequences.

“What if we can build a car that’s 10 times as safe, which means 3,500 people die on the roads each year. Would we accept that?” asks John Hanson, a spokesman for the Toyota Research Institute, which is developing the automaker’s self-driving technology.

“A lot of people say if, ‘I could save one life it would be worth it.’ But in a practical manner, though, we don’t think that would be acceptable,” Hanson added.

The article is here.