Never Mind the Trolley: The Ethics of Autonomous Vehicles in Mundane Situations

  title={Never Mind the Trolley: The Ethics of Autonomous Vehicles in Mundane Situations},
  author={Johannes Himmelreich},
  journal={Ethical Theory and Moral Practice},
Trolley cases are widely considered central to the ethics of autonomous vehicles. We caution against this by identifying four problems. (1) Trolley cases, given technical limitations, rest on assumptions that are in tension with one another. Furthermore, (2) trolley cases illuminate only a limited range of ethical issues insofar as they cohere with a certain design framework. Furthermore, (3) trolley cases seem to demand a moral answer when a political answer is called for. Finally, (4) trolley… 
Autonomous Driving and Public Reason: a Rawlsian Approach
In this paper, we argue that solutions to normative challenges associated with autonomous driving, such as real-world trolley cases or distributions of risk in mundane driving situations, face the
Autonomous Driving Ethics: from Trolley Problem to Ethics of Risk
A new framework for trajectory planning is proposed, with uncertainties and an assessment of risks, that considers minimization of the overall risk, priority for the worst-off and equal treatment of people.
From driverless dilemmas to more practical commonsense tests for automated vehicles
This work examines, at a high level, how to test the common sense of an AV, and explains how to substantially change the premises and features of these dilemmas in order to lay the foundations for a more practical and relevant framework that tests driving common sense as an integral part of road rules testing.
"Trolleyology" and autonomous vehicles - moral and legal questions on the application of the doctrine of double effect
The paper focuses on a classical problem of ethics and law: the doctrine of double effect (DDE). Nowadays the doctrine is more and more popular since AI-technology and superintelligent machines have
Moral dilemmas in self-driving cars
Abstract: Autonomous driving systems promise important changes for future of transport, primarily through the reduction of road accidents. However, ethical concerns, in particular, two central
Do Automated Vehicles Face Moral Dilemmas? A Plea for a Political Approach
How should automated vehicles (AVs) react in emergency circumstances? Most research projects and scientific literature deal with this question from a moral perspective. In particular, it is customary
Ethical Decision Making in Autonomous Vehicles: The AV Ethics Project
The Ethical Valence Theory is proposed, which paints AV decision-making as a type of claim mitigation: different road users hold different moral claims on the vehicle’s behavior, and the vehicle must mitigate these claims as it makes decisions about its environment.
The ethics of the ethics of autonomous vehicles: Levinas and naked streets
My starting point in this article is that investigating the ethics of autonomous vehicles through the lens of the trolley problem is not only limited but also unethical. I construct my case by
Ethical issues in focus by the autonomous vehicles industry
ABSTRACT The onset of autonomous driving has provided fertile ground for discussions about ethics in recent years. These discussions are heavily documented in the scientific literature and have
Why Trolley Problems Matter for the Ethics of Automated Vehicles
A positive account is developed of how trolley cases can inform the ethics of automated vehicles and four arguments for this view are outlined and rejected.


Killing by Autonomous Vehicles and the Legal Doctrine of Necessity
How should autonomous vehicles (aka self-driving cars) be programmed to behave in the event of an unavoidable accident in which the only choice open is one between causing different damages or losses
First Person Trolley Problem: Evaluation of Drivers' Ethical Decisions in a Driving Simulator
A driving simulator study with personalized abstractions of a classical ethical dilemma indicates that drivers, who are confronted with the decision of sacrificing the life of others, want vehicles to decide utilitarian, even when the probability of their own survival is substantially low and provoking an accident could result in their own death.
Autonomous Cars: In Favor of a Mandatory Ethics Setting
This essay will defend the somewhat contra-intuitive claim that people would not be willing to use an automated car that might sacrifice themselves in a dilemma situation, and ask whether every driver should have the choice to select his own personal ethics setting (PES).
Away from Trolley Problems and Toward Risk Management
The shortcomings of the trolley problem are discussed, more nuanced examples that involve crash risk and uncertainty are introduced, and risk management is introduced as an alternative approach, and its ethical dimensions are discussed.
The Ethics of Accident-Algorithms for Self-Driving Cars: an Applied Trolley Problem?
Three important ways are identified in which the ethics of accident-algorithms for self-driving cars and the philosophy of the trolley problem differ from each other, which concern the basic decision-making situation faced by those who decide how self- Driving cars should be programmed to deal with accidents.
The social dilemma of autonomous vehicles
Even though participants approve of autonomous vehicles that might sacrifice passengers to save others, respondents would prefer not to ride in such vehicles, and regulating for utilitarian algorithms may paradoxically increase casualties by postponing the adoption of a safer technology.
What Does Matter? The Case for Killing the Trolley Problem (Or Letting it Die)
For the past forty years, a significant portion of nonconsequentialist moral philosophy has been devoted to refining our moral intuitions about the harms to others we may or may not causally bring
The German Ethics Code for Automated and Connected Driving
A member of the German Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Alexander Dobrindt, appointed a national ethics committee for automated and connected driving, which began its work in September 2016, and presented a code of ethics which consists of 20 ethical guidelines.
How Outlandish Can Imaginary Cases Be
It is common in moral philosophy to test the validity of moral principles by proposing counter-examples in the form of cases where the application of the principle does not give the conclusion we
Solving the Trolley Problem
One might despair of ever arriving at a principle adequate to capturing and accommodating the authors' intuitions about the full range of cases that have come to be known as “trolley problems”, but suppose there were such a principle, as indeed I imagine there probably is.