Happily for the rest of us, IT Guy is unlikely to be programming his own self-driving car.
I find it amusing that people are saying things like "No doubt at all" and "No question" when it comes to prioritizing their own child vs. a busload (or city full, or world full) of other people's kids.
The phrase really shows it's an emotional statement, not a reasoned one. "No question" means, literally, that the speaker hasn't thought it about it. Just is reacting emotionally.
I don't know why your mother got fined, but in my experience the authorities are very reasonable about this sort of thing.
If you break a traffic law in order to avoid an accident, you're extremely unlikely to be penalized. 99% of cops will not issue a ticket in that circumstance (although they could), and 90% of courts will waive the penalty if you explain.
My own wife got out of a speeding ticket by explaining to the court why it was unsafe to stay near a weaving driver.
The whole question is idiotic. Automated cars will do the best they can to avoid accidents, just as people do. Period.
The traffic laws have been tweaked for over 100 years - they're pretty good. If everyone follows the rules cars will virtually never smash into each other or pedestrians. In the rare cases where outside factors (mechanical failures, weather, etc.) intervene, the car will simply do the best it can.
There really aren't cases where such choices need to be made, and there's no payback for even worrying about it.
Human drivers don't think about this in accidents - things happen too fast for that.
(Which is why manual override is not a solution.)
Even in the crazy hypotheticals, it just doesn't matter. Automated cars will avoid 99/100 or 999/1000 of the accidents that happen today.
Who the 1 in 100 or 1000 are that don't get saved doesn't matter. What matters is that 99/100 or 999/1000 are saved.
I can spend millions digging holes and filling them up again - that doesn't entitle me to a reward for my "time and effort".
If I look at the image on their website and get pleasure from the beauty of it, that doesn't harm them in any way or cost them a penny. They *already* made the image for their own reasons. Whether I get pleasure from it doesn't affect them.
If their use of the image harmed the creator economically - lost sales in this case (as with the free download of the game), then (and only then) you have a case for limiting that use.