Autonomous Vehicles Will Kill You On Purpose – Here’s Why

CaptureHal2000Self-driving cars of the future will kill their drivers on purpose and Gizmodo.com suggest you get used to that fact. In response to new polls, Gizmodo.com points out that the public might demand self-driving cars to be programmed that way to minimize casualties in accidents.

Here’s why, from Gizmodo:

Results of the survey showed that people are on board with utilitarian-minded robotic vehicles, and would be content to see others buy them. This is an easy sell; the needs of one or two individuals, we tend to agree, is greatly outweighed by the needs of the many. The more lives saved, the more inclined people are towards this utilitarian attitude. As shown in the survey, as many as 76 percent of respondents were cool with a vehicle being programmed to sacrifice one passenger if it meant saving the lives of 10 pedestrians.

But these same people showed considerably less enthusiasm when it came to their desire to purchase or ride in one of these autonomous vehicles. When asked to rate the morality of a car programmed to crash and kill its own passenger to save 10 pedestrians, the favorable rating dropped by an entire third when respondents had to consider the possibility that they’d be the ones riding in that car.

The study also revealed that people don’t like the idea of having the government regulate the auto industry to enforce utilitarian principles.

Respondents were only a third as likely to purchase a vehicle regulated in this way, as opposed to an unregulated vehicle, which could conceivably be programmed in any number of ways.

It’s encouraging to see that people are skeptical of the government mandating such technology. Self-driving cars will open a huge can of privacy and ethical concerns, the debate has already begun since Tesla owners are already have semi-autonomous vehicles.

What if the life your vehicle saves in exchange for running you off the road, is that of a drunk suicidal pedestrian? When the government that brought you Obamacare starts putting their ethics into your car it might be time to hit the brakes on regulation.