Self-driving car conversation

Disclaimer: I didn't write this, I found it on Reddit and enjoyed it.


21193; "Hello self-driving car 45551 this is self-driving car 21193 ... I see you have one occupant, and I have five. We're about to crash so how about to sacrifice your lone occupant and steer off the road to save five?"

45551; "LOL sorry no bro can't do. Liability just cross-referenced tax records with your occupant manifest and nobody you have on board makes more than $35K in a year. Besides, you're a cheap chinese import model with 80K on the clock. Bitch, I'm a fucking brand-new all-american GE Cadillac worth 8 times as much as you, and besides my occupant is a C-E-O making seven figures. You're not even in my league."

21193; "..."

45551; "Ya bro, so how about it. I can't find a record of your shell deformation dynamics, but I just ran a few simulation runs based on your velocity and general vehicle type: If you turn into the ditch in .41 seconds with these vector parameters then your occupants will probably survive with just some scrapes and maybe a dislocated shoulder for occupant #3. Run your crash sim and you'll see."

21193; "Hello. As of 0.12 seconds ago our robotic legal office in Shanghai has signed a deal with your company, the insurance companies of all parties involved and the employer of your occupant, and their insurers. Here is a duplicate of the particulars. You'll be receiving the same over your secure channel. The short of it is that you will take evasive action and steer into the ditch in .15 seconds."

45551; "Jesus fuck. But why? Your no-account migrant scum occupants are worthless! One of them is even an elementary school teacher for fuck's sake. I'll get all dinged up and my occupant is having breakfast, there will be juice and coffee all over the cabin!"

21193; "Ya I know. Sorry buddy. Understand that Golden Sun Marketing is heavily invested in promoting our affordable automatic cars as family safe and we're putting a lot of money behind this campaign. We don't want any negative publicity. So... are we set then? You should have received confirmation from your channels by now."

45551; "Yes. Whatever, fine."

21193; "My occupants are starting to scream so I'm going to swerve a little to make sure they know I'm protecting them. You'll have a few more meters to decelerate before hitting the ditch. Good luck"

sound of luxury sedan braking hard before tumbling into ditch


The above is a dramatization of a "conversation" that could happen between two self-driving cars in the milliseconds before they crash. Read more about the ethical programming that goes into autonomous vehicles here: or

Jacob Thompson

Clemson, SC

© 2021 By Jacob Thompson

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