The Ethics Of Autonomous Cars

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Ethics are important in guiding every action in a morally right direction. But this concept can get very interesting when it comes to automated or robot cars. Currently, there are many road laws and regulations in place to help guide both drivers and traffic police. But this whole system mainly has a human framework and human elements. Most of the laws are intended for human drivers. However, the same may or may not apply in the same way when it comes to robot cars that lack the manual r human element altogether. There are several things to look at here, and the discussion is unique. Let us look at some of them in this article.

The Ethics Of Autonomous Cars
The Ethics Of Autonomous Cars

Ethics In Driving

On a day-to-day basis, drivers have to make many split-second decisions. In the case of probable accident scenarios, drivers may even do things that do not strictly abide by the law. For example, if a human or animal pops up instantly in front of a speeding car, drivers may swerve into the adjacent lane, or halt abruptly and cause the vehicle behind to run into yours. Under such circumstances, ethics govern most of the decisions. Depending on the ‘illegality’ of the driver’s actions may even be subject to pardon, after due consideration.

However, robot cars will not have this ethical aspect. It is an argument whether they should only follow traffic laws blindly. That would not necessarily guarantee safer and accident-free roads. If an automated car stops suddenly, the car behind would likely run into it. That would lead to accidents. 

Also, in the case of problematic scenarios, it is a matter of discussing as to whose safety will be a matter of priority. Human conscience dictates avoidance of trouble and security for all people or animals involved in such a situation. However, in the absence of guiding ethics and morality, it is interesting to see whether robot cars will prioritize only the safety laws or the safety of car inmates. Also, should there be a child inside the vehicle, the priorities would call for a revision.

Also, remotely controlled cars might have a high susceptibility to be hacked. So, there are many security concerns for the design of such vehicles. 

The Ethics Of Autonomous Cars
The Ethics Of Autonomous Cars

Areas To Reflect Upon

1. The Car

While the case of privately owned cars or vehicles is more straightforward, it is more complicated for publicly owned vehicles. The matter of accountability and allegiance are fundamental. For private automobiles, the allegiance should be to the owners and family members of the cars. However, for public vehicles, it becomes vague and ambiguous.

2. Car Insurance

Insurance, in general, functions on an element of risk. Robot cars might have significantly reduced road accident risks. Or the danger could be too little or too ambiguous to be computable. As such, insurance companies might not want to take it on. That could also lead to the redundancy of Car Insurance as a sector.

3. Abuse

If the remote car systems are not hack-proof, they might lead to misuse and abuse. The probability and extent of such a situation and remedies need determination. Also, apart from hacking, it might encourage more drinking as one would not need to worry about drunken-driving.

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