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The moral problems with driverless cars

Driverless cars are hailed as one of the technologies of the future. No one knows how this technology will mature and develop. But one clear concern is how these vehicles will operate in an emergency situation. Most futurists will tell you that driverless cars won't get into accidents. But that is only true once every car transitions to an automated system. For many years, computer-driven and human-driven vehicles will share the road. To that end, how should these cars respond to emergencies?

Consider this scenario. A car is driving along a road, and a rock falls onto the road, cutting the car off. The car can veer to the right and strike a woman pushing a stroller, or the car can continue going straight and crash into the rocks, killing the driver. Researchers at MIT are asking people worldwide how a robot should respond to this situation.

The findings show that the overwhelming responses show that people want the car to make the decision that serves the greater good. But, when surveyed about whether a driverless car should make that decision while they are in the car, the responses overwhelmingly want the computer to prioritize the safety of its passenger over anyone else. In short, these questions are still being developed. For the time being, engineers are focusing on designing cars that are as safe as possible.

The ethics of programming these cars is many years into the future. But, what is clear is if you are injured in a car accident, you should be entitled to receive fair compensation for your injuries. A lawyer can assist you in recovering compensation by guiding you through the legal system and crafting arguments in your favor. After an accident you should focus on your recovery and your family, a lawyer can handle the litigation.


Source: Associated Press, "For driverless cars, a moral dilemma: Who lives or dies?" Matt O'Brien, January 18, 2017

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