Agreement technologies refer to a novel paradigm for the construction of distributed intelligent systems, where autonomous software agents negotiate to reach agreements on behalf of their human users. Smart Cities are a key application domain for agreement technologies. While several proofs of concept and prototypes exist, such systems are still far from ready for being deployed in the real-world. In this paper we focus on a novel method for managing elements of smart road infrastructures of the future, namely the case of auction-based road intersections. We show that, even though the key technological elements for such methods are already available, there are multiple non-technical issues that need to be tackled before they can be applied in practice. For this purpose, we analyse legal and ethical implications of auction-based road intersections in the context of international regulations and from the standpoint of the Spanish legislation. From this exercise, we extract a set of required modifications, of both technical and legal nature, which need to be addressed so as to pave the way for the potential real-world deployment of such systems in a future that may not be too far away.
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The protocol also allows vehicles to cancel a reservation that they already have acquired for a certain time t. This may happen, for instance, when a driver realises that, due to changing traffic conditions, it is likely to arrive at the intersection at some time t’ > t. The auction protocol includes additional constraints that keep agents from strategizing based on this option.
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This work has been partially supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, and the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, co-funded by EU FEDER Funds, through Grants TIN2015-65515-C4-X-R (SURF) and RTI2018-095390-B-C33 (InEDGEMobility).
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Santos, J., Fernández, A., Moreno-Rebato, M. et al. Legal and ethical implications of applications based on agreement technologies: the case of auction-based road intersections. Artif Intell Law (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10506-019-09259-8
- Agreement technologies
- Autonomous vehicles
- Intersection management
- Intelligent transportation systems
- Ethical and legal aspects
- Spanish law