BMVI Ethics Commission publishes automated driving guidelines
Berlin, 20 June 2017
Together with other acatech Members, acatech President Henning Kagermann helped the Ethics Commission on Automated Driving to formulate 20 guidelines for the use of automated and connected vehicles on our roads. Today, Federal Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt and former Federal Constitutional Court judge and chairman of the Ethics Commission, Udo di Fabio, presented the Commission’s final report at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure in Berlin.
Driver assistance systems are already taking over more and more tasks from car and HGV drivers. Production models of highly automated vehicles that can drive, steer and brake without human intervention will be available in the not too distant future. It is against this background that the Ethics Commission on Automated Driving formulated 20 guidelines which define the conditions that should be met before automated and connected vehicles are approved for use on our roads. As well as data protection and legal issues, the Commission’s final report addresses ethical questions such as the decisions taken by intelligent vehicles in hazardous or dangerous traffic situations. According to the Commission, a key requirement for the roll-out of automated vehicles is that they should prioritise the protection of human life over all other considerations. In principle, the approval of automated systems for use on our roads can only be justified if they are consistently safer than human drivers – in other words, if they consistently reduce the number of physical injuries.
In October of last year, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) established the Ethics Commission on Automated Driving under the chairmanship of former Federal Constitutional Court judge Udo di Fabio. The Commission’s members included philosophers, legal experts and social scientists, as well as experts from the fields of technology assessment and software development and from the automotive industry. acatech President Henning Kagermann chaired the working group on the “Scope of the Responsibility of Software and Infrastructure”, while acatech Members Manfred Broy, Founding President of the Zentrum Digitalisierung.Bayern, and Armin Grunwald, Head of the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis in Karlsruhe, also served on the Commission.
acatech has been addressing the topic of automated and connected driving since 2015, through its “New autoMobility” project. In the STUDY “New autoMobility – The Future of Automated Road Transport and Traffic”, the interdisciplinary project group presents potential use cases and outlines the individual benefits of automated and connected driving with regard to road safety, quality of life and social inclusion. Roadmaps set out the areas where action is required, providing the basis for a series of recommendations aimed at promoting automation and connectivity as part of an integrated mobility transition.
Press release BMVI: Ethics Commission on automated Driving publishes guidelines