When a Driverless Car Crashes, Should Passengers or Pedestrians Get Protected First?

Driverless cars pose a quandary when it comes to safety. These autonomous vehicles are programmed with a set of safety rules, and it is not hard to construct a scenario in which those rules come into conflict with each other. Suppose a driverless car must either hit a pedestrian or swerve in such a way that it crashes and harms its passengers. What should it be instructed to do? A newly published study co-authored by an MIT professor shows that the public is conflicted over…