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Moving Forward with Autonomous Systems: Ethical Dilemmas

Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC,volume 781)


Automation has improved transportation systems in various domains over the last several decades. Increasing autonomy in these systems has gradually reduced the role of the human operator to that of system monitor with the ultimate goal of eliminating the human from the control system entirely. Commercial aviation has benefited from automation, but it operates with the support of a broad infrastructure of safety when compared to vehicular road traffic. While not designed to operate in a fully autonomous mode, the computer, sensor, and software technology developed for aircraft are being applied to self-driving cars with the expectation that driving will also see significant improvements in accident rates and efficiency through the elimination of human error and negligence [1]. A sophisticated combination of hardware sensors and computer software analyzes the environment and controls the speed and direction of the car without input from its human occupants and their opaque interactions increase the complexity of the system. This approach has potential benefits but also potential problems. Autonomous vehicles will present ethical challenges while being developed and after deployment. The purpose of this paper is to consider the many ethical implications involved with the implementation and oversight of autonomous vehicle (AV) technology. This paper examines primary ethical dilemmas present in the use of autonomous cars including liability and moral agency.


  • Autonomous
  • Cars
  • Ethics

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-94334-3_12
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Fig. 1.

(Source: Aysen Taylor)

Fig. 2.

(Source: Evtimov et al. [16])


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Correspondence to Aysen K. Taylor .

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Taylor, A.K., Bouazzaoui, S. (2019). Moving Forward with Autonomous Systems: Ethical Dilemmas. In: Nunes, I. (eds) Advances in Human Factors and Systems Interaction. AHFE 2018. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol 781. Springer, Cham.

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