Saturday, March 26, 2016

Are You Still There, Pilot? Moral Hazard Mitigation

It is tempting to view an advance in safety technology as an unqualified improvement. However, the advance often comes with some baggage called moral hazard. The idea is that your fancy new airbags might make you feel safer and so you drive a tad riskier, offsetting the improvement.

Inventors may have a duty to think through ways to mitigate this. For example:  aircraft autopilot systems could have a pop-up window at random times that requires the pilot to enter some information in order to continue operating, thus ensuring the pilot is not completely asleep or absent. Analogous concepts can be thought of for other safety technologies.

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