According to Fast Company, Mercedes has skipped the ethics of the self-driving car altogether, and decided that, if one of their vehicles faces the option of saving its passengers at the expense of a pedestrian, it will always pick the safety of the passenger first. While this may appear questionable, Mercedes' engineers think that "if you know you can save at least one person, at least save that one. Save the one in the car."
The moral confusion is deepened when we consider that autonomous cars may save millions of lives that would otherwise have been snuffed out by careless human drivers. That's no consolation if a Mercedes chooses to use you as an airbag to save its owner, but maybe you'd already have been killed a few years before if a particular human driver hadn't been replaced by a driverless car.
Mercedes's von Hugo, then, thinks that the ethical problems will be outweighed by the fact that cars will be better drivers overall. "There are situations that today’s driver can’t handle, that . . . we can’t prevent today and automated vehicles can’t prevent, either. The self-driving car will just be far better than the average human driver," he told Car and Driver.
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