Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (3):669-684 (2018)

Authors
Johannes Himmelreich
Syracuse University
Abstract
Trolley cases are widely considered central to the ethics of autonomous vehicles. We caution against this by identifying four problems. Trolley cases, given technical limitations, rest on assumptions that are in tension with one another. Furthermore, trolley cases illuminate only a limited range of ethical issues insofar as they cohere with a certain design framework. Furthermore, trolley cases seem to demand a moral answer when a political answer is called for. Finally, trolley cases might be epistemically problematic in several ways. To put forward a positive proposal, we illustrate how ethical challenges arise from mundane driving situations. We argue that mundane situations are relevant because of the specificity they require and the scale they exhibit. We then illustrate some of the ethical challenges arising from optimizing for safety, balancing safety with other values such as mobility, and adjusting to incentives of legal frameworks.
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-018-9896-4
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References found in this work BETA

Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
Autonomous Cars: In Favor of a Mandatory Ethics Setting.Jan Gogoll & Julian F. Müller - 2017 - Science and Engineering Ethics 23 (3):681-700.

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Citations of this work BETA

Why Trolley Problems Matter for the Ethics of Automated Vehicles.Geoff Keeling - 2020 - Science and Engineering Ethics 26 (1):293-307.
Trust and Resilient Autonomous Driving Systems.Adam Henschke - 2020 - Ethics and Information Technology 22 (1):81-92.

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