A lot of discussion and ethical thought about self-driving cars have focused on tragic dilemmas, like hypotheticals in which a car has to decide whether to run over a group of schoolchildren or plunge off a cliff, killing its own occupants.
In a future where all cars are self-driving, small changes to driving behavior would make a big difference because decisions made by engineers today will determine not how one car drives, but how all cars drive. Algorithms become policy.
“Self-driving cars shouldn’t drive like people. Humans aren’t actually very good drivers. And they drive in ethically troubling ways, deciding whether to yield at crosswalks, based on pedestrians’ age, race and income. Self-driving cars should drive more safely, and more fairly than people do.”
Read the article at The Daily Beast.