Why Everyone Has It Wrong about the Ethics of Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous vehicles (AVs) raise a host of ethical challenges, including determining how they should interact with human drivers in mixed-traffic environments, assigning responsibility when an AV crashes or causes a crash, and how to manage the social and economic impacts of AVs that displace human workers, among others. However, public and academic discussion of the ethics of AVs has been dominated by the question of how to program AVs to manage accident scenarios, and in particular whether and how to draw on so-called “trolley cases” to help resolve this issue. Some in the debate are optimistic that trolley cases are especially useful when addressing accident scenarios, while others are pessimistic, insisting that such cases are of little to no value. The authors summarize the debate between the optimists and pessimists, articulate why both sides have failed to recognize the appropriate relationship between trolley cases and AV design, and explain how to better draw on the resources of philosophy to resolve issues in the ethics of AV design and development.


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01733964
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 20 2020 10:12AM