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Ford Looks To Make Ethics Part Of 'Smart City' Plans

LAS VEGAS (CBS) -- It's a utopian dream that technology companies believe is a realistic goal: cars that avoid crashes, roads that are congestion-free. At this past week's CES tech show in Las Vegas, Ford outlined its vision for how to make it happen.

In the city of tomorrow, cars will be talking to each other and, really, everything. In fact, the communication technology that Ford is backing is called CV2X, or "cellular vehicle to everything."

But Ford CEO Jim Hackett says remember: WE are at the center of the system.

"It's not about the city getting smarter," Hackett said. "It's about humans having a better day."

To that end, he says society must wrestle with new questions: how much should the big 'brain' know about us, and how can it make use of that information? For instance, should it be able to have our medical records and pass them along to emergency responders automatically summoned by the car when it senses an emergency, (should it be able to do even that)?

"Is it plausible for us to take technology in its most extreme, promising form, and not have it make us more hedonistic," he said, "not be evil that we squash it, but that it unlocks the power of who we were supposed to be?"

The conversation, Hackett says, is only just beginning.

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