In this article we summarise some previously described proposals for ethical governance of autonomous vehicles ('smart cars'), critique them, and offer an alternative solution. Rather than programming cars to react to crash situations in the same way as humans, having humans program pre-set responses for a wide range of different potential scenarios, or applying particular ethical theories, we suggest that decisions should be made jointly between humans and cars. Given that humans lack the requisite processing capacity, and computers lack the necessary ethical capacity, the medical paradigm of advance care planning can be retooled for this new context. Advance car-crash planning provides a way to combine humans' ethical preferences with the advanced data processing capacities of computers to enable shared decision making in collision situations.
- Smart cars
- Autonomous vehicles