Rules for self-driv­ing cars be­ing drawn up

The Mercury - - METRO - | Daily Mail

LON­DON: New rules to let self-driv­ing cars break the speed limit or mount kerbs to avoid ac­ci­dents are be­ing drawn up in a “dig­i­tal high­way code”.

And in a rad­i­cal le­gal move, the car maker could be pun­ished if a driver­less car speeds with­out jus­ti­fi­ca­tion or causes a fa­tal ac­ci­dent.

One key ques­tion in an of­fi­cial re­view just launched is whether au­to­mated ve­hi­cles should, like hu­man drivers, be al­lowed to break the rules for a greater good.

Should they be pro­grammed to mount the kerb to avoid a child in the road, let an am­bu­lance go past, or if two cars are stuck in a nar­row street?

Or should they be in­structed never to swerve on to the pave­ment to avoid some­one in the road be­cause it could “en­dan­ger in­no­cent passers-by on the pave­ment, sim­ply to avoid a per­son who is at fault”.

Other dilem­mas in­clude whether a car should be pro­grammed to de­lib­er­ately run over one pedes­trian if that avoids hit­ting a larger group.

Of­fi­cials are also ask­ing whether a driver­less car should be al­lowed to edge through pedes­tri­ans that block its path. They fear a ve­hi­cle might never get any­where if pedes­tri­ans know it will al­ways stop when they walk in front of it.

A pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on the ma­jor is­sues is part of a three-year project to get driver­less cars on Bri­tain’s roads by 2021.

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