In "The Terminator", we see that the T-800 tells the trucker in training to "Get Out" of the truck. Was this James Cameron's attempt at being comical or did it have deeper meaning?

My assumption is that Terminators think, in general, that humans are all inherently evil and if a human was beside them, there is a chance that the mission would be compromised. The trucker in training would have no idea what was going to happen in the future and so, chances are, would have treated the hijacking like a criminal trying to use the vehicle to make a speedy getaway, similar to when a criminal holds a gun to an individual's head and tells them to "keep driving." It was not until "Terminator 2: Judgement Day" where John Connor was there to drive home the message of how it should be moral in not going for the death kill.

So are Terminators actually somewhat moral to anyone else other than their intended targets?

In "Terminator 2: Judgement Day", we see this again as the T-1000 asks the helicopter pilot to do this. In the second movie, it seems as if it would be more comical, relating back to the first movie when the T-800 says it.

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    What use for the Terminator would be a corpse at the driving seat? It's more efficient to scare the driver out than to kill him on the spot and struggle for some time to get rid of the remains.
    – Seretba
    Jun 4 '19 at 8:03
  • Seretba: Then again, you just leave the guy and go about your business. If he tried anything, you just kill him. Remember, it was not until Terminator 2 Judgement Day that the T-800 had any kind of moral code when set by young John Connor of not trying to kill anyone. I am just wondering why Skynet would program their machines to care about that unless it played on something significant in the future. Jun 4 '19 at 8:05
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    Because they want the person to get out of the vehicle? Yes, they could kill them, just like they could kill literally everybody they come into contact to. They don't do that because there's no need to. It doesn't help them achieve their goal in any way, and may even hinder them (a trail of bodies is going to be a much higher priority for the police than a stolen vehicle), so they don't do it. Jun 4 '19 at 8:34
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    @WantingAnswers It is just a matter of efficiency & risk management from the T-800 point of view. Kill pilot on spot = have to remove dead weigth from pilot seat which might not be easy if a foot gets stuck in pedals or similar + risk of damage to control panel from ricochet + stronger police reaction to the crime. Force him into co-pilot seat = small risk of interference from hostage during operations. Have pilot at the whell, Terminator as passanger = less efficient driving/piloting, risk of pilot refusing to make maneuvers dangerous to humans but not to Terminator. Scare pilot out = Winwin
    – Seretba
    Jun 4 '19 at 9:42
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    @WantingAnswers Of course, Terminator has no sense of morals, just of accomplish mission with ruthless efficiency. Should the trucker in training have refused to "Get Out", or attempted serious resistance, equation for the T-800 would have changed and a different, probably nastier, approach taken to get control of the truck.
    – Seretba
    Jun 4 '19 at 9:47

Terminators were created as infiltration units. Terminators must be able to pass as human to fulfill their mission. Any killing that doesn't help fulfilling mission is unnecessary and could be detrimental to the mission. The mission is to kill Sarah Connor.

It is quicker for Terminator to tell the driver to get out than to kill him and either drag him out or leave the corpse be. If it leaves the corpse be, it might interfere later, by bouncing around the truck's cabin and impeding movement.

Similarly, before the police station attack it was in infiltration mode. Only when infiltration fails, Terminator goes to brute force solution. Original purpose of the Terminator is to infiltrate pockets of human resistance then either call for backup or eliminate those pockets itself.

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