With urbanization and globalization increasing overcrowding in our traffic systems, vehicles must increase efficiency, safety and environmentally friendliness. Autonomous vehicle technology is set to play a major role is confronting these challenges. However, the elimination of the driver poses numerous challenges; above all that human assessment and experience must now to be regulated by software and hardware only. Programmed algorithms have to make difficult and controversial decisions about the actions of the vehicle, most extremely, unavoidable collisions in which people are involved.
The aim of the research project is to carry out a technical-ethical evaluation of autonomous driving functions in order to answer the question: is it possible to integrate ethical behavior into path and behavior planning of an autonomous vehicle? We will use state of the art algorithms for path and behavior planning and enhance them with ethical theories, in the process translating ethical theories into software. Afterwards, the newly developed algorithms will be analyzed in both well-known and newly defined driving scenarios on a hardware-in-the-loop simulator.
Case Study: Autonomous Driving Ethics: from Trolley Problem to Ethics of Risk