Source Pravda.Ru

Driverless cars programmed to kill

Driverless cars that are currently gaining momentum may soon prevail over traditional ones.

Human-driven vehicles are even reported to be banned in the future.

However, the driverless cars may be programmed to kill you, in case it means saving lives of other people.

This is routed in a classic philosophical thought experiment, the Trolley Problem.

Consider this:

'There is a runaway trolley barrelling down the railway tracks. Ahead, on the tracks, there are five people tied up and unable to move. The trolley is headed straight for them. You are standing some distance off in the train yard, next to a lever. If you pull this lever, the trolley will switch to a different set of tracks. However, you notice that there is one person on the side track. You have two options: 1. Do nothing, and the trolley kills the five people on the main track or 2. Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person. Which is the correct choice?'

Though the whole point of driverless cars is that they are better at avoiding accidents than humans, there will still be times when a collision is unavoidable. As such, it is conceivable that whoever programmes them will decide that ploughing you into a road barrier is better than continuing your course into a bus packed with school children.


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