You’re riding along in your driver-less car enjoying the day when suddenly a group of pedestrians blocks your path.
It’s too late to slow down and your car has to make a choice: plow into a group of pedestrians and cause multiple deaths or veer into a concrete divider and kill you. Which do you choose?
Most people answered that question in two different ways, depending on how the question was asked. When it was asked in the abstract — should a driver-less car be programmed to minimize deaths —they said yes.
But different results emerged when asked if they would want to own a car that did that at the expense of their personal safety.
“Technology has a proven track record of saving lives. We may be on the cusp of a safety innovation revolution,” said NHTSA (National Highway Transportation & Safety Administration) Administrator Mark Rosekind.
The moral dilemma shows how difficult some of the decisions to be made will be.