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Will Autonomous Vehicles be Able to Make Ethical Choices?

Tuesday 29th August 2017 11:17:24

At Total Loss Gap we love the idea of autonomous vehicles but will they be able to make the ethical choices they may need to. 


The concept of not having to worry about traffic conditions and instead allowing a your vehicle to drive you safely to your destination is no longer science fiction instead it is already science fact. Safer less stressful driving has to be a good thing for anyone and everyone. 


After all computers and machines don't make mistakes,they are amazing at being able to complete millions of minute calculations and adjust according to the outcome within Millie seconds. Unlike humans they also don't make errors. 


They can also continue to complete their task for hour upon hour without rest. 


The issue is that they can however malfunction. They can have loss of power. So what will happen if they need to make tough choices. We think that manufacturers will ultimately have to put as much effort and thought into the ethical processing power as they will the capability to be able to drive and manoeuvre the vehicle.


It may sound a bit far fetched however lets look at at potential ( we sincerely hope never happens ) scenario. 


  • You are in your vehicle driving down a high street.
  • There are two lanes of traffic, both of which are busy.
  • Your vehicle is hit by another vehicle which has malfunctioned.  
  • At that time your vehicle will have a choices to make remembering that its primary function is to preserve your life,
  1. it can either plough into the lorry in front.
  2. It can swerve into the oncoming traffic.
  3. or it can serve into a bus stop full of school children. 

Neither is a choice we hope that anyone would have to make and all would end in you being hurt but some will involve you being hurt more. This is where we genuinely think that vehicle manufacturers will face their toughest task ever as they will have to be able to allow the vehicle to be able to make choices which will result in potential loss of life.


The future of autonomous vehicles is an amazing prospect and one which we are all looking forward to. 




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