Self-driving cars process huge amounts of sensory information in a very short amount of time. The processing speed of this information allows self-driving cars to make an informed decision on how to act in the case of an accident. In scenarios where casualties are unavoidable, this produces an ethical dilemma in determining who should survive, raising questions about how the value of a life should be calculated. Ultimately, because all lives are equal and no individual should have power over deciding the fate of the lives of others, self-driving cars are unethical.
What is VCE?
Viterbi Conversations in Ethics is an educational forum for reasoned, informed, and relevant discussion of engineering ethics. Written, edited, and published by USC Viterbi School of Engineering students, Viterbi Conversations in Ethics will publish exceptional student work and responses, counter-points, and new perspectives from both peers and professionals.
How Are Our Articles Made?
Our articles are written by Viterbi’s own diverse student body. We gather outstanding papers from students enrolled in Viterbi’s Engineering Writing Program. After a rigorous selection process, we edit and publish the papers that we believe bring the most to the conversation.
Outside of the main magazine, our talented editors create Weekly News Profiles, which highlight ethical concerns in current events.