Volume 34, Issue 1, Spring 2020
Will Autonomous Vehicles Eliminate a Right to Drive?
In the future, autonomous vehicles are predicted to be much safer than current vehicles and affordable enough for all vehicle owners. At such a point, should we still allow people to manually drive non-autonomous vehicles? Can we say people who want to drive have a right to drive? In this paper, we first attempt a deontological justification of a right to drive, by trying to derive the right from more uncontroversial rights, like the right to freedom of movement, but fail. Looking at the right on consequentialist grounds, both in terms of paternalistic justifications of denying the right and the externalities caused by manual driving, we are able to justify a right to drive. However, the externalities caused by manual driving (especially the risks imposed on non-drivers and the property damage) are enough to limit this right to drive to non-public roads.