14:54 27 June 2016
Self-driving cars, which are expected to ease up traffic congestion, are set to be produced by traditional car companies in the near future. Although previous studies suggest that they can cut road accidents by as much as 90per cent, there are concerns over the decision making process when dealing with potentially fatal accidents.
In a paper published in Science magazine, academics from the US and France, said: “Although people tend to agree that everyone would be better off if AVs (autonomous vehicles) were utilitarian (in the sense of minimising the number of casualties on the road), these same people have a personal incentive to ride in AVs that will protect them at all costs.”
In the online surveys participated by 1,928 individuals, 76per cent said that it would be more moral for the vehicle to kill the driver than 10 pedestrians.
The team explained: "Our results suggest that such regulation could substantially delay the adoption of AVs, which means that the lives saved by making AVs utilitarian may be outnumbered by the deaths caused by delaying the adoption of AVs altogether.”