Self-driving cars, the ethical problems raised by the Uber accident.
Car accident Uber
Ethical dilemmas, legal and regulatory problems for the assignment of responsibilities in criminal and civil matters. Here are the hot spots raised by the incident of recent days: problems that will have to be resolved before actually giving the green light to the circulation of autonomous cars.
Here we are, a self-driving car killed a human being. Nothing unpredictable, to be honest: as we pointed out, no technology is perfect, and if unmanned cars will really spread accidents, even fatal, will be inevitable. But like all the first times, this death will make people talk. And it is probably destined to bring to light some never loose nodes in the field of artificial intelligence and robotics. Ethical dilemmas, legal and regulatory problems underlined several times and by many parties, but never fully addressed by legislators and producers themselves. Instead, they are more current than ever, not only for the recent news, but above all for the speed with which the technologies evolve.
The Uber car accident
To start, let’s see what we know about the incident. The 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg was walking alone through a four-lane road at night, pushing her bicycle away from a pedestrian crossing. In a video released by the American police we see the lady suddenly appear in the dark, at a distance too short from the car to imagine that a timely braking could avoid the tragedy.
In fact, rumors (though premature) say that Uber and the car test driver will hardly be held legally responsible for the death of the woman.
But the video also shows something else. First of all, the car driver seems extremely distracted: he keeps looking down, probably towards a book or a cell phone (although for now it can not be excluded that he actually looks at a monitor or some other navigation system car).