For the first time, I saw a google self driving car on the way in to work. The engineering curiousity in me made me want to go in front of it and hit my brakes to see how it would respond... I resisted. But I did notice that when someone moved into the lane next to him, he slowed down a bit... I'd be curious to see the state diagram of their sensors, actions, etc...
How is a robotic vehicle that allows you to read your paper during the morning commute different from a bus? Seriously, I wonder if public transportation will get wiped out by, or get a boost from the advent of autonomous vehicles. There's so much one can do when the cars are interacting with each other and with some overall control---redirecting traffic around congestion, etc---but at which point in this integration a personal car begins to behave like an element of public transport?
I guess that's just the price you pay for the freedom to read the paper during your morning commute instead of actually "driving"...
Same argument applies to speed limits. Presumably your "ethical" car won't let you speed, and would even report other violators complete with timestamped video for the courts. The way most people drive, it wouldn't be long before most of us would be required to drive under "ethical" robot control or pay ever-increasing traffic fines.
We must remember that Robots are just machines. I am not sure they will ever reach a point were ethics becomes part of their actions. We build robots to do a job. They will do that job within the parameters we set.
A Robot will never be 100% safe under all conditioins. Defects and untested decision paths will always exist.
Using a wrench as a hammer is not the fault of the wrench.
Just my opinion.