The driverless car dilemma

"Last week Joshua Brown became the first fatality in an accident involving a car using autopilot mode.

The technology does raise important questions related to ethics and highway safety regulations. For example, a recently published article in the journal Science revealed the attitude of 2,000 people towards this dilemma:

A driverless car is about to run over ten people, and there is not enough time to for the car to stop. The only the way the car can avoid killing the pedestrians is to swerve into a wall, which will probably kill one or more of the vehicle’s passengers. Should driverless cars be programmed to save as many lives as possible in an accident (utilitarian programming)? Or should they be programmed to do what is necessary to protect their passengers? The survey revealed that 76 percent of people believe it is more moral for a driverless car to receive utilitarian programming. In other words, most people think it’s better if a car’s computer sacrificed the vehicle’s passengers in order to save as many lives as possible. But the survey also revealed that 81 percent of respondents would not purchase a driverless car with such programming. Instead, they would prefer a car programmed to protect them and their passengers at all costs."

So I guess driverless cars are out?

I haven’t read the article, so just going from what you said. I don’t know what is the intended takeaway here. It’s not a paradox, first of all. I would say it’s moral to be a mother Theresa and work your whole life for poor people, but I would not make that choice with my life. The scenario also has no bearing on the current state of the industry, since it is beyond the AI sophistication of current driverless cars. The only thing we can expect driverless cars to do in accident avoidance is to make a split second decision to slam on the brakes or swerve to avoid immediate obstacles. In other words, the exact same reaction that human drivers would have.

There are countless “unanswerable” questions in any field - technology, politics, or anything else. If the above scenario makes people want to quit making driverless cars, then we should quit everything altogether and just die.

The answer is C) Americans are easily distracted from their real problems…

Leading causes of death

* Sum of the 5 Metabolic syndrome illnesses = 1,500,000 deaths

* Accidents = 136,000 deaths

The first category has an obvious solution, the second category has no solution by definition.

I don’t care if the car has to run over 100 people. If they are in the road and it’s my life or the theirs, mine is more important.

People are so stupid & ignorant. One ought to look at the net death caused by driverless cars. Of course they are going to cause accidents, you just have to look at how they perform against humans. People don’t want machines to be taking over their jobs and also want them to be laser focused and smart at the same time.

Since when are ethical and moral standards the frontrunners of business decision making? This isn’t the CFA Institute you know.

I admire your persistance.

Dont driverless cars have some sort of manual override though? Saw a video of a guy driving the Tesla on autopilot and while freaked out he was very impressed. He still had control via the pedals and could grab the wheel if he wanted to control it

Expecting perfect driving records from auto pilot vehicles is unreasonable. If on average autopilot is already dramatically lower in crashes/deaths vs humans, then I see a net positive on society.

irrespective of popular opinion, self-driving cars will always seek to protect the car and its passengers. the only way self-driving cars will be accepted and be ubiquitous is if passengers feel safe. the companies who create the self-driving cars will program cars such that more cars can be sold.

also, a self-driving car would never be in a situation to run over 10 people unless those 10 people were doing something highly illegal so those 10 people deserve to die relative to the passengers. it’s not really a fair ethical dilemma to pose it as 10 people versus 1 person. a more accurate dilemma is 10 criminals versus 1 law-abiding citizen. i’d choose law-abiding citizen every time. also, the 10:1 ratio is never going to be a consideration. it may be 2:1 or 3:1 and in that case choosing the law-abidng citizen is an easy choice.

MLA actually got a problem partially correct!! This almost never happens LOL!

Yes, we know what will happen with near certainty – the driver’s life WILL take priority.

The reason – all decisions in America come down to “what will maximize profit?”. If programming does not protect the driver, fancy new cars will not sell, and profits will not be maximized. Same old pattern; sell more stuff, shrug off externalities. Externalities could include increased car related deaths, and certainly WILL include a 10:1 event, but the corporation will just spin it (we’ve seen it all before). The dollar value of human lives are included nowhere in the income statement.

Pretty sure this falls under Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics.

^ it is not so much that profit is always maximized as it is the programmers and management of Self-Driving Co. will want to keep their jobs. it is not so much about profit as it is survival. the corporation will always choose survival over death. the cost of running over pedestrians will be extreme so in the end it is difficult to know which scenario maximizes lifetime profits.

this dilemma doesn’t even matter. if self-driving reduces fatalaties by 99%, non-self-driving on public roads will probably be made illegal, and rightfully so.

Hmm. The three laws were about protecting humans though. The corporation operates based on maximixing profits regardless of impact on humans. Americans always talk about how cost of externalities “should” guide corporate behavior, but obviously that hasn’t worked out for them.

Your schtick is so lame. You’re becoming more annoying than the Indians that were expelled. At least 95% of your posts are ignored. Your troll-fu is weak.

Hmm, there’s this pattern I’ve noticed – you usually run away (after becoming defensive) when I point out in a benevolent way that your posts don’t actually hold up to scrutiny. It’s good that you actually read a book, just pointing out humans have NOT put Asimov’s laws to work. Probably they should.

Scrutiny – critical observation or examination.

pa how are you going to protect yourself when all these american self driving cars are all over the roads?

Not responding to your obvious trolling has nothing to do with you providing irrefutable proof on any topic, ever. In fact, I don’t remember you citing a single source in any of your recent posts. You simply say something derogative about Americans to be a dickless troll.

If you were actually providing anything to scrutinize, I can promise you, you’d be torn to shreds by me and several others. Instead, and this is what I was pointing out, you’ll notice most of the WC regulars simply ignore you. You’re not winning anything. It’s more like you’re not even really here. Whatever satisfaction you get from trolling know this, most of us aren’t offended. We simply don’t care about you.

I’m fine with someone having an anti-American stance. Just back up your stance with something that can be debated. But you won’t, so peace out little man.

I have no idea who this guy is, I don’t believe he’s been around while I’ve been studying for the exams until now… but you have to admire the persistence of someone who racks up over 3,000+ posts just on a gimmick/trolling platform. Think of how many hours of your life that is. Kudos.