Tech

Slate Worries Self-Driving Cars Will Save Too Many Lives

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Phillip Stucky Political Reporter

Self-driving cars could help save thousands of lives every year from traffic-related deaths, and Slate columnists Ian Adams and Anne Hobson think that’s a bad thing, according to their Thursday article.

The number one source for donated organs is from those who die in car accidents. That will likely decline once self-driving cars become a normal sight on America’s roadways.

Adams and Hobson assert that 6,500 Americans die every year waiting for vital organ donation, and 35,000 are killed on the roadways in a given year. A large 20 percent of all organ donations occur as a result of traffic-related deaths.

National Transportation Safety Board chairman Christopher A. Hart agrees that self-driving cars will lead to fewer traffic-related deaths.

“Driverless cars could save many if not most of the 32,000 lives that are lost every year on our streets and highways,” Hart argues.

Without those organs, Adams and Hobson say that more people will die as a result of organ failure. The solution? Simply make an organ market legal, that way, people can sell their organs and fill the need.

Any such market is currently outlawed because of the National Organ Transplant act of 1984, which was passed out of the concern that people would be treated like old cars in a junkyard. Other top concerns were the exploitation of minorities and the poor.

Adams and Hobson work with the R Street Institute, and the article was a part of Slate’s “Future Tense” series that focuses on how emerging technologies could effect aspects of normal daily life.

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