Sunday, May 14, 2017

A Hint of a PPS Solution for Self-Driving Cars and Who Should Be Killed

The following appears in the reporting of Patti Waldmeir for "Lunch with the FT" with the lunch guest being Bill Ford, the great-grandson of Henry Ford.
 The autonomous age will also raise new ethical questions, says Ford: what would a self-driving car do when faced with the choice of crashing into 10 pedestrians or killing its occupant? Human drivers react as best they can. But autonomous cars will need to be told what to do. Will autonomous Fords choose to kill the driver to save 10 bystanders? Will Fords kill the driver, and Toyotas kill the crowd? Will Fords in Detroit do one thing and Fords in Shanghai do another?
The idea that the answer may be different depending on manufacturer and especially different based on location, Shanghai or Detroit, hints that the solution could be a Private Property Society solution.

Property owners (or highway owners) could set their own rules as to how software must be set on autonomous cars or it's possible some could leave it up to the manufacturer of automobiles and allow all types of automobiles.

Perhaps riders would choose only highways that allowed certain types of driver protections.



  1. Bob's solution is for a PPS.

    Currently, I'd use the car with the instructions to save me and my friends foremost.

  2. Bob gives the answer for a PPS.

    Currently I would only ride in a self-driving car with instructions to save me and my friends foremost.

  3. My college-aged son presented me with this scenario a while back. My opinion is that the car should default toward the life of its passenger. The car's ability to calculate the mortality of its occupant is superior to that of calculating the variable actions and resultant injuries of the external crowd.

  4. Maybe there could be a setting for Auto-Assisted Suicide.

  5. Another possible solution lies in the adaptation of streets and walkways so that the cars are better contained. Private businesses and building owners might erect strong, but stylish, barricades and similar structures to prevent the cars from experiencing such a scenario.