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Friday, 28 June 2019 20:00

Are We Programming Killer Cars? The Ethics of Autonomous Vehicles

Written by Ariella Brown, Interesting Engineering
Currently, Tesla cars are equipped with the necessary hardware for autonomous driving, but software updates are required to fully enable the feature. Currently, Tesla cars are equipped with the necessary hardware for autonomous driving, but software updates are required to fully enable the feature. Tesla / YouTube

Index

 

What Should the Self-Driving Car Do?

 

Chris Gerdes, a professor at Stanford University who has been looking into the ethical dilemmas among self-driving cars, offered a reasonable choice: that of dealing with a child running into the street, which forces the car to hit something but allows it to choose between the child and a van on the road. For a human that should be a no-brainer that protecting the child is more important than protecting the van or the autonomous car itself.

 

But what would the AI think?

 

Gerdes observed, "These are very tough decisions that those that design control algorithms for automated vehicles face every day.”

 

We thank Interesting Engineering for reprint permission.

 

 


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