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Tesla and the ethics of self-driving cars

Ben Rich charges his Tesla vehicle at a super charging station in New Jersey. (KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)
Ben Rich charges his Tesla vehicle at a super charging station in New Jersey. (KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)

Self-driving technology has come a long way in recent years, but it remains far from perfect.

And that’s partially because of decisions made — not by the cars — but by programmers.

Tesla recalled 54,000 cars because of a feature built into the car’s autopilot that allowed it to roll through stop signs. In other words, it was programmed to break the law.

Today, On Point: Who should regulate the program in self-driving cars?

Guests

Rebecca Heilweil, reporter for Vox, covering emerging technologies, artificial intelligence and logistics. (@rebheilweil)

Matthew Johnson-Roberson, director of the Robotic Institute and professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University. Former co-director of the Ford Center for Autonomous Vehicles at the University of Michigan.

Also Featured

John Bernal, former Tesla employee who is beta testing Tesla’s Full Self-Driving on his YouTube channel AI Addict.

From The Reading List

Vox: “Why Tesla won’t stop” — “Tesla announced two massive recalls this week related to issues with its vehicles’ software. One of the recalls ordered Tesla to roll back a self-driving feature that caused the company’s cars to break the law.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.