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Author Topic: An Ethical Dilemma: When Robot Cars Must kill, Who Should Pick the Victim? Back to Topics
dallfo
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Denver

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 12:43:40 AM

We are moving closer to having driverless cars on roads everywhere, and naturally, people are starting to wonder what kinds of ethical challenges driverless cars will pose. One of those challenges is choosing how a driverless car should react when faced with an unavoidable crash scenario. Indeed, that topic has been featured in many of the major media outlets of late. Surprisingly little debate, however, has addressed who should decide how a driverless car should react in those scenarios. This who question is of critical importance if we are to design cars that are trustworthy and ethical.

Driverless cars stand to reduce the number of driving fatalities overall. But there will still be fatal car crashes that are unavoidable. For example, consider this scenario in illustration, a sort of m
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REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
lorimarie36
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Jun 17, 2014 3:37:07 AM

Post something new please.
lorimarie36
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Jun 16, 2014 1:15:41 AM

What does the car sensors actually see?
gasmask78
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jun 16, 2014 12:13:24 AM

hmm...
MAC48
Champion Author Dallas

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Message Posted: Jun 15, 2014 7:36:15 PM

If one really expects robot vehicles to one day be legal on our streets and highways, then the order of the liability for any damages and wrongful death caused during the robotic operation of the vehicle to third parties, to third party property, to the occupants of the robotic vehicle or to the property of the occupants of the robotic vehicle should be assessed in the following order:

1) The robot vehicle manufacturer,
2) The state that allowed or allows robot vehicles to legally drive,
3) The manufacturer of the robot vehicle computer processing hardware,
4) The manufacturer of the robot vehicle sensing hardware, and
5) The robotic vehicle computer programmer.

In any accident in which a robot vehicle due to its operation in a robotic state is the vehicle found to be at fault, a failure of one or more of the above parties has simply got to be the reason for the accident.

The human occupant or occupants of a robot vehicle should not have any liability unless it can be proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that with unassailable scientific evidence that the robot vehicle was NOT in any form or fashion in a state of robotic operation for a period of five minutes prior to the accident.
remay
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Jun 15, 2014 4:22:26 PM

Don't let GM into the picture...
DrCashFlow
Champion Author Massachusetts

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Message Posted: Jun 15, 2014 4:12:45 PM

Lawyers are drooling
WVUtailgater
Champion Author Cleveland

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Message Posted: Jun 15, 2014 9:32:07 AM

I will always drive my car.
MadFueler
Champion Author Winston-Salem

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Message Posted: Jun 15, 2014 8:06:14 AM

This scenario also poses another dilemma: If either the designer or the driver decides ahead of time to hit the child, are they guilty of murder or liable for wrongful death? On several levels, I wouldn't trust this to a machine, unless the machine were able to see the danger before I would and find a way to stage the inevitable collision in such a way that a fatality would be less likely.

fuel2use "Gas prices."

No, cars and safety - legitimate topic per GB article guidelines.
BBopp
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:44:40 PM

The natural human instinct is self preservation or preservation of one's family.
fuel2use
Champion Author Seattle

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 3:45:43 PM

Gas prices.
bondo
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 1:17:10 PM

Dark news.
bar1035
Champion Author Charlotte

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 12:53:12 PM

If it immediately imploded into tiny pieces at least we should survive since we are not the ones with that car.

[Edited by: bar1035 at 6/14/2014 12:53:57 PM EST]
Metrolizer
Champion Author Fort Worth

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 12:50:31 PM


Disturbing the hypotheses of the hypothetical scenario, there is a speed at which the car would kill the child but at which the driver would escape unscathed or little damaged, if the car ran itself into the embankment.

This is an interesting topic. I agree with Jason Millar that technicians should not be making ethical choices that drivers can make.

I also agree with NilesBishop that the default bias is for self-preservation. Nikontraveler gives one reason. The "child" that a sensor may have detected could turn out to have been a bag of groceries in a baby stroller, a goat, or a rabid dog.
livedream
Champion Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 12:39:20 PM

The dark side of driverless cars. Not a choice I would make.
Nikontraveler
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 11:29:14 AM

This is an interesting question. Do driverless cars recognize animals like deer, cats, dogs OR Little children?
NilesBishop
Champion Author Philadelphia

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 11:04:30 AM

Question is actually fairly simple. What would an EXPERIENCED driver do. An experienced driver would slow the car down as rapidly as possible by jamming on the brakes. If there is not enough stopping distance the poor unfortunate child dies.

In a more obvious situation, Mountain Road, steep cliff on right mountain wall on side. Same child. NO ONE would ethically expect the driver to drive off the cliff to save the life of the child.

And lastly the cars by them will be smart enough to determine WHO is either in the driver seat and who is the pedestrian and score them accordingly with lawyers, of course, at the bottom. (Removing tongue from cheek on that last comment).
jcotaxi
Champion Author South Bend

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:54:18 AM

Just wait till a robot car exhibits road rage! Will they do it perfectly and get away with it?
lorimarie36
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:38:35 AM

Interesting scenario. Will the car be able to determine what the obstruction is in front of the car? Maybe it's a branch, so will the car crash into the wall to save a branch? Interesting.
Cellsite
Champion Author Appleton

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:27:05 AM

If the car was so smart, it should have known to slow way down when approaching this type of scenario.
cableman31
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:11:57 AM

With the way people drive today, driverless car just could be an answer.
teatiger
Champion Author Dallas

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:11:36 AM

Sad
biza4u
Champion Author New Haven

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:10:54 AM

Ok
FocusFree
Champion Author Ottawa

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:10:27 AM

An interesting concept.
mikesr100
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:10:26 AM

The State that Licensed them to Drive?
VB_Richard
Champion Author Virginia Beach

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:09:02 AM

Foresight is good when no one has control, who is responsible?
AmtechJim
Champion Author Gary

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:08:57 AM

Interesting questions, I do not believe that automated cars are ever going to roam on their own without a manual override. These are best left to special high speed highways just for them as a form a personal public transportation where they only have to deal with each other of the same type and can be orchestrated with an overall master control. Time will tell.
bjdorval
Champion Author Quebec

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:08:55 AM

Will a driverless car stop in the middle of a busy highway for ducks?
wegman
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:08:44 AM

Interesting and depressing. I STILL want the technology sooner rather than later.
PizzaMon
Champion Author Philadelphia

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:08:11 AM

Not in my lifetime.
THEDodgeman
Champion Author Denver

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:07:57 AM

ok
mfgendron
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:07:21 AM

Blame it on W.
matthwbar
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:07:21 AM

I'll be driving...
scrossi
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:07:14 AM

Me too arwarrior.
Calbo1
Champion Author Las Vegas

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:07:03 AM

I don't think so, I'd rather be the one driving the car
mpsan
Champion Author Wisconsin

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:06:33 AM

ok
arwarrior
Champion Author Colorado

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:05:19 AM

I'll drive myself
CliffW
Champion Author Washington

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:04:49 AM

I think I'd rather be the one to make the decision by NOT driving an automated car.
Hugo40
Champion Author Kentucky

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:04:40 AM

Driverless vehicles have no heart or feeling.
GasPriceHelp4u
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:03:56 AM

You tell us!!!
Smartywife
Champion Author Medford

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:03:49 AM

We should be in control of the car.
AFSANDCOP
Champion Author Georgia

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:02:45 AM

ok
BlueOnyx
All-Star Author Georgia

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:02:17 AM

Stupid scenario. The robo-car should be programmed to react the way a driver would. I don't know about you, but if I saw a kid, unaccompanied by a parent (presumably), on the side of the road, I would slow down as I approached. If the kid suddenly darted out, I'd have time to stop, thus sparing both lives. Why shouldn't the car be programmed to do the same?
TxMtb
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:00:28 AM

The car should have detected the child on the side of the road to start with.
skye1212
Champion Author Austin

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:00:18 AM

Can it be worse than being run over by a teenager texting? I'll take the robot cars any day.
TWS658
Champion Author Portland

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 10:00:05 AM

Wow!!!
GGAlbo
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 9:58:27 AM

Whooo!!
BlueVanGroup
Champion Author Fort Collins

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 9:58:21 AM


"I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."
LuckyLou1
Champion Author Colorado

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 9:58:17 AM

I won't be having one drive for me
1JoeBob
Sophomore Author Florida

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 9:58:17 AM

What happens when 2 Robot cars are about to crash each other?
liao
Champion Author Montreal

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 9:57:57 AM

Good question and difficult to find an answer.
buzzieNY
Champion Author Buffalo

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 9:57:29 AM

The Lawyers would have a field day with this one.
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