I was talking with Old Man CB yesterday, and the topic of autonomous cars came up. I mentioned how Mercedes has gone all in with protecting the passengers/driver, and he proposed an interesting counter: why not let the driver decide?

He put it like this: give the driver essentially a ten point slider, with a one being “save others” and a ten being “save me”, and let the driver choose what their autonomous car do if they face a dangerous situation. He also suggested that they would have that preference assigned to a key or a login for whenever a different driver gets in the car. So I could prefer to save others, while he could prefer to save himself, and we’d both be relatively happy with the same car.

I mean, it makes sense when you think about it. Not every driver will swerve to avoid people or animals (or decide to run them down), so why have your autonomous car be pre-programmed with a decision you don’t necessarily agree with? Now, how this would affect insurance and everything is up in the air, but I think it’s a pretty decent middle ground. What do you lot think? Does this idea need some further fleshing out?

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