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University of Oregon

Ethical dilemma on four wheels: How to decide when your self-driving car should kill you

Ethical dilemma on four wheels: How to decide when your self-driving car should kill you

Self-driving cars have a lot of learning to do before they can replace the roughly 250 million vehicles on U.S. roads today. They need to know how to navigate when their pre-programmed maps are out of date. They need to know how to visualize the lane dividers on a street that’s covered with snow.

And, if the situation arises, they’ll need to know whether it’s better to mow down a group of pedestrians or spare their lives by steering off the road, killing all passengers onboard.

This isn’t a purely hypothetical question. Once...

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