Self-Driving Cars: Ethical Responsibilities of Design Engineers

Jason Borenstein, Joseph Herkert, Keith Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


In the wake of the exposure of Volkswagen's diesel engine test-rigging, a Bloomberg Business journalist described the company as driven by engineering-crazed executives [2] and The New York Times ran a story noting how with today's complex computer systems in automobiles, there are numerous opportunities for misdeeds both by automakers and hackers [3]. With the advent of so-called autonomous or self-driving cars, such issues may become even more pervasive and problematic. From a legal perspective, a key focal point is who would be at fault if and when an accident occurs [4]. Much also has been written about the ethical complexities posed by self-driving cars [5]-[6]. In accordance with Moore's Law, [a]s technological revolutions increase their social impact, ethical problems increase [7]. Yet relatively little has been said about the ethical responsibilities of the designers of self-driving cars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7947308
Pages (from-to)67-75
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Technology and Society Magazine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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