From: Yossi Levanoni
Subject: Will your driverless car kill you so others may live? - LA Times
Paging Walter Block - who should regulate the applied ethics algorithms of driverless cars? Of course this statist philosophy professor thinks the government should. But the question of liability is interesting in a libertarian framework as well. Are you guys aware of Isaac Asimov's laws of robotics? They revolved around similar ethical dilemmas. The interesting differences relative to a human driver are two fold:
1/ the driverless car may be offered as a service, potentially reducing the ownership and hence liability of the passenger.
2/ a human driver doesn't have to formulate ahead of time their ethical driving principles, whereas a computer program fully specifies its intentions.
Hope you find this interesting, too.
My response is that in the libertarian society, all roads and highways would be privately owned, and the proprietors of them would make any and all such decisions.
See this book of mine in which I make the case for private roads:
Block, Walter E. 2009. The Privatization of Roads and Highways: Human and Economic Factors available for free here: http://mises.org/books/roads_
web.pdf;http://mises.org/daily/3416; http://www.walterblock.com/wp- content/uploads/publications/ radical_privatization.pdf; audio: http://store.mises.org/ Privatization-of-Roads-and- Highways-Audiobook-P11005.aspx ;http://www.audible.com/pd/ Business/The-Privatization-of- Roads-and-Highways-Audiobook/ B0167IT18K?tag=misesinsti-20; http://us1.campaign-archive1. com/?u= bf16b152ccc444bdbbcc229e4&id= 6cbc90577b&e=54244ea97d
Walter E. Block, Ph.D.
Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics
Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business
Loyola University New Orleans