Jacksonville Injury Lawyer: Moral Dilemmas with Autonomous Vehicles

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Jacksonville Injury Lawyer: Moral Dilemmas with Autonomous Vehicles

Here is a question for you – Suppose a driverless car must either hit a pedestrian who would call a Jacksonville injury lawyer, or swerve in such a way that it crashes and harms its passengers, who would also call a Jacksonville injury lawyer. What should it be instructed to do?

A newly published study co-authored by an MIT professor shows that the public is conflicted over such scenarios, taking a notably inconsistent approach to the safety of autonomous vehicles, should they become a reality on the roads.  In a series of surveys taken last year, the researchers found that people generally take a practical approach to safety ethics: They would prefer autonomous vehicles to minimize casualties in situations of extreme danger. That would mean, say, having a car with one rider swerve off the road and crash to avoid a crowd of 10 pedestrians. At the same time, the survey’s participants said, they would be much less likely to use a vehicle programmed that way. 

This quandary is called the “trolley problem,” it was created by a British philosopher named Philippa Foot in 1967, and instead of questioning the ethical programming of vehicles, it concerns the choice a trolley operator might be forced to make. This is the situation: You are on a runaway trolley, and as you look down the line, you see a group of five people gathered on the tracks. There is no way you can stop the trolley before you reach the people, but if you pull a lever, you can switch tracks. Unfortunately, there is a single workman on these new tracks and he would undoubtedly be killed if you choose to switch tracks. Which do you choose?

It is a difficult decision, and for good reason. The question has been debated for years. But study author Dr. Iyad Rahwan of MIT says that prior to this study, it had not been measured.

“One missing component has been the practical component,” Dr. Rahwan told the Times. “What do people actually want?” Survey respondents suggested that they wanted others to buy cars that would choose to save the greatest number in any situation, including those with children at risk, however, they also said that they themselves would not buy those cars. An interesting scenario a Jacksonville injury lawyer would work diligently towards providing the best possible resolution.

Critics say that the study might be missing the point. Ragunathan Rajkumar of Carnegie Mellon told Scientific American that autonomous vehicles focus on preventing harmful choice situations in the first place.

Similarly, people were strongly opposed to the idea of the government regulating driverless cars to ensure they would be programmed with utilitarian principles. In the survey, respondents said they were only one-third as likely to purchase a vehicle regulated this way, as opposed to an unregulated vehicle, which could presumably be programmed in any fashion.

“This is a challenge that should be on the mind of carmakers and regulators alike,” the scholars write. Moreover, if autonomous vehicles actually turned out to be safer than regular cars, unease over the dilemmas of regulation “may paradoxically increase casualties by postponing the adoption of a safer technology.”

The study’s authors say that while this research is interesting from an ethical perspective, it will also have a very real impact on the way that automakers, lawmakers, and consumers approach driverless cars and their regulation.

One legal question (a Jacksonville injury lawyer would ask) posited by researchers, for example, is: “If a manufacturer offers different versions of its moral system, and a buyer knowingly chose one of them, is the buyer to blame for the harmful consequences of the system’s decisions?”

This question is just one of many that automakers and others will have to answer before autonomous vehicles can really hit the road. All roads will lead to consulting a Jacksonville injury lawyer.

Would you buy an autonomous vehicle?

 

Source: http://www.csmonitor.com/Technology/2016/0624/Ethics-of-driverless-cars-Do-pedestrian-lives-matter-more-than-passengers?cmpid=gigya-mail & https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160623150107.htm

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