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Kill animals and destroy property before hurting humans, Germany tells future self-driving cars

Eddy Ito Silver badge

My problem is with the "destroy property" first bit since it would imply that it would be able to differentiate between a person pushing a shopping cart and another pushing a baby carriage/pram. Does it take out the leading "property" in an effort to save the obvious person in each case? What about instances like cos-play where someone may be dressed as a horse; does it save superman and hit the "horse"?

If an accident is unavoidable...

Sorry, this is one that irks me a bit so pardon the tangent. I question whether the vast majority of "accidents" are actually accidents. Certainly when the miscellaneous deer, turkey, etc. darts out in front of your car it is an accident but in general when another human is involved it is far more likely that one party is being negligent. It could be the prat who is over tired and falls asleep at the wheel, is too busy playing pokemon on their phone to look up, or is otherwise simply being a dumbass whether inside the car or not. I'll even allow that since we expect some humans to be dumbasses such as the small child who rashly chases a ball into the street because they don't know better and so would fall into the deer category because they're aren't yet fully aware of concepts like responsibility and negligence although perhaps a case could be made against their parents.

A crash resulting from mechanical failure could be an accident if the failure is of the type that isn't foreseen such as an unnoticed defect in a control arm allows it to separate and the wheel falls off, a highly unlikely event. Mechanical failure would be negligence if it was a wear item that wasn't replaced in a timely manner such as the brake pad that's been screaming for several months and has now ejected the cylinder from the caliper resulting in a total loss in hydraulic pressure in the circuit; something I've actually seen when I worked at a service station1 in my youth.

Essentially if we can eliminate the negligence parts we could greatly reduce the number of crashes and we'd be left with the very small number of true accidents that need to be addressed. Unfortunately autonomous vehicles can't do anything about the haphazard dolt who is engrossed with their current texting session and either driving a current vehicle or even walking.

1. For the younger folks, a service station is where someone would rush out to your car when you pulled up to the fuel pump and they put fuel in your car, washed the windows, and checked the oil. The were also capable of performing other repair services on automobiles ranging from anything as simple as a tire repair or changing the oil to rebuilding a transmission. Most of them now only sell soda, chips, coffee, etc. as well as leave you to filling your car yourself unless you find yourself in New Jersey where, if you're lucky, the "attendant" might remember to reinstall the filler cap.

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