Just a few feet ahead, three pedestrians are hurrying across a crosswalk even though it's flashing a red signal. The driverless vehicle's wheels are faster than the pedestrians' feet, and a collision is inevitable.
What should happen next? Should the vehicle know to swerve into a wall and sacrifice its passengers to avoid the pedestrians, or should it protect its passengers at all costs?
The surveys revealed that the majority of respondents believed autonomous vehicles should be programmed to be "utilitarian," attempting to save the most lives (in this case, the pedestrians) while sacrificing as few as possible (the passengers), said Jean-Francois Bonnefon, a psychological sci