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An attendee demonstrates the dashboard for the Audi AG E-Tron Quattro Concept vehicle during the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

A senior Audi research executive says society's readiness to embrace self-driving cars is one of the biggest challenges facing auto makers.

Markus Auerbach says developing the technology is only one component of the shift towards autonomous driving.

He says the bigger challenge will be ethical decisions that robots will have to make while operating vehicles.

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For example, a autonomous vehicle that can't avoid a collision could be forced to choose between hitting a child who is crossing the street and an elderly woman on a bike.

Auerbach heads up the Audi Innovation Research office in San Francisco.

He commented Friday at the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto.

Ontario will be the first Canadian province to allow self-driving cars to be tested on its roads.

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