Mercedes-Benz chooses drivers in self-driving car safety debate
Elliot Johnston October 16 2016
Drivers lives more important in Mercedes safety debate while Theresa May gives Nissan autonomous vehicles freedom of UK roads and MK sees the country’s first self-driving car test…
Mercedes-Benz self-driving cars will save the life of the car driver and their passengers even if that means sacrificing pedestrians or other road users like cyclists, says a Mercedes-Benz executive.
Comments published last week in automotive magazine Car and Driverfrom executive Christoph von Hugo state that “if you know you can save at least one person, at least save that one.
“Save the one in the car. If all you know for sure is that one death can be prevented, then that’s your first priority.”
The firm’s stance is sure to draw criticism from cycling groups, vulnerable road users andthe wider population who are already apprehensive about the idea of robotic cars taking to the streets.
The ethical conversation about whether or not the car’s ‘driver’ is the right one to be saved stems from a thought experiment called the Trolley Problem.
The Trolley Problem asks a human participant whether they would intefere with an out-of-control trolley hurteling down a track towards a crowd by diverting it to a less-crowded area.