Are Self Driving Cars Ethical? Essay

1658 Words Apr 22nd, 2016 null Page
Are self-driving cars ethical?
The advancement of technology and scientific knowledge throughout the 20th and 21st centuries has seen an incredible amount of development and innovation in every aspect of human life. This is particularly true for the automotive industry, companies such as BMW and Google (Hevelke & Nida-Rümelin 2015) have developed autonomous cars and are in the process of refining the technology used for these (McBride 2016). Autonomous or self-driving cars eliminate the need for a driver, they are programmed to learn from their environment through algorithms and make decisions by themselves on the road (McBride 2016). Millions of people die every year due to car accidents (McBride 2016; Urmson 2015) and it is predicted that by 2020, traffic accidents will be the third largest cause of death and injury in the world (Redshaw 2012). The autonomous car can greatly reduce the inadequacies resulting from human involvement, a much safer road environment can be created by significantly reducing the chance of accidents thus saving lives (McBride 2016). However, as with any new technology that emerges, new concerns also arise. The emergence of the self-driving car presents a new challenge to ethics and is a topic of debate among many. This essay will critically examine and discuss how a self-driving car should be programmed to allocate harm in the event of an unavoidable accident through a utilitarian ethical framework.
In a normal case, a car driver has personal…

Related Documents