Autonomes Fahren: Deutschland setzt erste Ethik-Standards

Deutschland ist das erste Land weltweit, das Ethik-Standards für das autonome Fahren etabliert hat.

The German federal government will adopt new guidelines for self-driving cars inside the country, which will prioritize the value and equality of human life over damage to property or animals.

These guidelines, presented on Aug. 23 by an ethics committee on automated driving, stress that self-driving cars must do the least amount of harm if put into a situation where hitting a human is unavoidable, and cannot discriminate based on age, gender, race, disability, or any other observable factors. In other words, all self-driving cars must be programmed to understand that human life is equal.

This question of who a vehicle should kill when placed in a situation where every outcome would end in death is often called the “Trolley problem.” It’s an ethical debate that’s lasted more than 60 years: Ethicists riddle each other with questions of whether it’s excusable to kill two elderly people to save one child, or save a pregnant woman while killing a man and a child, and on and on. MIT even made a game to test your own ethical predisposition in the situation.

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