Self-Driving Cars Will Kill People. Who Decides Who Dies?

Recently, the “trolley problem,” a decades-old thought experiment in moral philosophy, has been enjoying a second career, appearing in nightmare visions of a future in which cars make life-and-death decisions for us.

Among many driverless car experts, however, talk of trolleys is très gauche. They call the problem sensationalist and irrelevant. But this attitude is unfortunate. Thanks to the arrival of autonomous vehicles, the trolley problem will be answered—that much is unavoidable. More importantly, though, that answer will profoundly reshape the way law is administered in America.

To understand the trolley problem, consider this scenario: You are standing on a bridge. Underneath you, a railroad track divides into a main route and an alternative. On the main route, 50 people are tied to the rails. A trolley rushes under the bridge on the main route, hurtling towards the captives.

Read more: Self-Driving Cars Will Kill People. Who Decides Who Dies?

Don’t forget to share this via , , Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Buffer, , Tumblr, Reddit, StumbleUpon and Delicious.

Mike Rawson

Mike Rawson has recently re-awoken a long-standing interest in robots and our automated future.

He lives in London with a single android – a temperamental vacuum cleaner – but is looking forward to getting more cyborgs soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Self-Driving Cars Will Kill People. Who Decides Who Dies?

by Mike Rawson time to read: 1 min
Hi there - can I help you with anything?
[Subscribe here]
 
More in News, Travel
Finding protesters
Boffins craft code to find protesters on social networks

Mining social networks for every scrap of information about our online lives is now common practice for marketers, academics, government...

Close