Automated driving is a powerful tool to reduce traffic fatalities, but societies still grapple with moral challenges as illustrated by the trolley dilemma: a discussion between Dr. Joachim Damasky, Prof. Reinhard Merkel and Dr. Felix Gress.
Imagine introducing a transport system that increases freedom and prosperity for all, yet has one disadvantage: an average death toll of 3,200 individuals per year. Surely, this would not be socially acceptable.
This is the current state of road traffic in a highly industrialized country like Germany as it developed over the past decades. The US are faced with 35,000 and Japan with 3,900 deaths from car accidents every year. In fact, thanks to driver assistance programs such as anti-lock braking systems (ABS) and electronic stability programs (ESP) as well as passive safety systems such as the seat belt and airbags, it is a record low for car-loving Germany.
Read more: 2025AD Forum: ethics of autonomous cars