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Poll results: Engineers say autonomous vehicles should NOT be able to decide how to crash

28/05/2019
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Car manufacturers and tech companies alike are busy developing and promoting autonomous vehicles (AVs) as a form of future mass mobility. But if AVs become commonplace on public roads, there’s a chance that they will at some point become involved in a crash scenario. If that happens, should AVs be allowed to decide how to crash? That’s the question we posed EngineeringPro readers last week.
Engineers say autonomous vehicles should not be able to decide how to crash
The response was fairly evenly spread for and against, but in the end the ‘no’ team edged the debate, with 45.45% of readers stating that ‘No – autonomous vehicles cannot be trusted to decide how to crash’.

It was a question which evinced strong responses from readers, with one stating that ‘Autonomous vehicles only belong in JUNKYARDS’. Another stated that autonomous vehicles should be able to decide how to crash but only based on ‘the respective numbers’ of passengers and pedestrians involved in the scenario.

On the ‘Yes’ side of the debate, 27.27% of readers felt that autonomous vehicles should be able to decide how to crash ‘to save their passengers at the expense of pedestrians’, the so-called self-protective version of AVs.
Should autonomous vehicles be able to decide how to crash?
Meanwhile, 9.09% of readers felt that autonomous vehicles should be able to decide how to crash ‘to save pedestrians at the expense of their passengers’, the utilitarian version of AVs.

These results mirror those of a major study featured in the journal Science, which found that people would prefer AVs which were self-protective rather than utilitarian (if they had to ride in one).

What do you think?


Do you agree with the EngineeringPro readers’ views, or do you think that there is another part of the AV debate which needs to be talked about? Let us know in the comments below.

This week’s EngineeringPro poll will be published later today.

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Tags: Automotive, ICT
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Poll results: Engineers say autonomous vehicles should NOT be able to decide how to crash - Time to read 2 min
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