Alice buys an autonomous vehicle from Bob, who sells them. The autonomous vehicle has different settings, some more aggressive (where the autonomous vehicle drives faster and brakes harder), and some less. Alice sets the autonomous vehicle to its most aggressive setting. One night on a dark and wet road, Alice hits a pedestrian, Carlos, who was jaywalking. Carlos is badly hurt.
How should we divide up the responsibility for Carlos’ injury?
In my opinion, Alice, the government, manufacturers and Carlos himself should undertake the responsibility.
Alice, the owner of the autonomous car should be the main responsible person for Carlos’ injuries. Alice knows the car has aggressive setting and he set the car into aggressive setting, then the car hurt the pedestrian. All the decisions are made by Alice. As an adult, Alice has his own idea and he can control himself. In the dark and wet road, it should be more careful to drive the car. But knowing that the aggressive setting of autonomous car has the danger for pedestrian but still set the car into the dangerous setting, Alice should take the responsibility for his own decision.
The manufacturers who produce the autonomous car with aggressive setting should be responsible too. As many functions including the monitor of pedestrian haven’t solved, it should not to make the car too aggressive to brake. If there isn’t any law to banned the manufacturers to produce the aggressive cars, the manufacturers may not break the law but they break the ethics to put the pedestrians’ lives into dangerous.
The government should also undertake the responsibility. It is the government who allows the autonomous car to run on the road and regulates the quality of the autonomous car. Before researching the safety and the consequences of the autonomous vehicles clearly and makes the automated cars legal, it’s government responsibility to make policy to keep the safety of pedestrian.
Carlo broke the traffic rule and caused the accident, he should also responsible for the accident.
When the autonomous vehicles have an accident, it very difficult to divide the responsibility now. So the manufacturers should keep do research on improving the autonomous vehicles before sale them to the customer and reduce the accident rate. The owners should know that they must concentrate on the car and get the control of the car quickly in an emergency situation. And the regulators should strictly limit the quality of the autonomous vehicles make more policy for the autonomous cars to protect the right of pedestrian.