Isn't this a decision that any driver can find themselves in...at any moment on the road? Would you sacrifice your life in order to save an unknown mother pushing a stroller, or an elderly looking gentleman, or a (seemingly) homeless man or women. Would you be willing to trade your life for another in a moments notice? While we cannot dwell on such matters in every moment, those that haven't given this any thought...may not fully understand the responsibilities of driving.
now, should this be a riddle...A driverless car will have no driver to sacrifice...therefor the passenger is assumed safe.
On to the article...
Let me thank you for the thought provoking article. If I can influence the programming of this car/trolley I would add just a little bit of calculations. If there must be a loss of human life, first determine the lesser number and calculated estimation of survival. Will the five victims on the track be a direct hit? Are all five moving across the track and will have a likelihood of being pushed away from the moving car/trolley? If all criteria point to total loss of life by the five on one track, then the one on the other...by all means pick the lower number. But if you can calculate type of movement and angle of impact with chance for survival...add that in.
This bring us to some other questions that have to be thought about, should this language be programmed into it. Will this language be able to determine the difference between loss of human life with the loss of animal life?
Given the chance would, I trade my life for another human is one simple answer. But would I trade my entire families life (five of us) for another...this is another decision entirely.
Now, would you trade any variable, of the above lives, with the life of a deer...a goat. What about someone pushing a bicycle in front of the driverless car? Or perhaps with the individual committing suicide? All of this isn't even factoring in the people who are looking for lawsuits, while minimizing the extinct of their injuries after researching the reaction of the program onto an object in front of it.
again...thanks for your thoughts