Lawyers, Not Ethicists, Will Solve the Robocar ‘Trolley Problem’

“The trolley problem presents already solved issues—and we solve them democratically through a combination of legal liability and consumer psychology,” says Casey. “Profit maximizing firms look to those incentivizing mechanisms to choose the best behavior in all kinds of contexts.” In other words: Engineers will take their cues not from ethicists, but from the limits of the technology, tort law, and consumers’ tolerance for risk.