The Trolley Problem


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The aim of The Trolley Problem was to conduct a study to determine how autonomous vehicles should be programmed to react in the event of a car accident where harm to another life is unavoidable. In the game, participants were placed in the driver’s seat of a car and shown variations of the trolley problem, where they were allowed to choose the accident’s outcome in a short amount of time.

The results concluded that there were a good number of people who would choose to sacrifice themselves over the lives of others. When it comes to decisions between lives of pedestrians, animals and old people were least likely to be saved, while children and pregnant women were most likely to be saved. It was also concluded that the utilitarian approach is very prevalent in this type of scenario, with the vast majority of participants choosing to save the highest number of lives.

How to Play

When presented with direction options, click the arrows using the mouse or press the corresponding arrow keys to choose the direction.

Other Contributors

Michelle Falzon, Keith Camilleri, Kristina Catania, Jenny Attard


January 2017