Implementation of self-driving cars: Overview of challenges and opportunities regarding social and ethical aspects

The project aims to provide an overall analysis of the challenges and opportunities that the implementation of self-driving cars will bring, as well as a more detailed analysis of any of these problems.

The academic and public discussion on self-driving cars are largely limited to a debate on dilemma choices in crash situations (often exemplified by the so-called “trolley problem”). The discussion of these dilemmas is problematic for several reasons. One of the most important problems is that the focus on the ethics of crashing has led to a neglect of other issues that are worth highlighting. The first goal of this project is to give attention to this issue, by supplying an overview article. In addition to ethics in crash situations, this involves, among other things, ethical driving outside crash situations, safety risks with regard to hacking and manipulation, valuation principles for determining whether self-driving cars are actually safer than relevant alternatives, challenges with regard to our personal integrity, climate issues, environmental issues, and health aspects, impact on our economy, social and political challenges, as well as changes in behavior patterns and more unexpected effects.

In the second part of the project, one of these problems will be given a more thorough analysis.

This project is coordinated by the Institute for Future Studies, in collaboration with KTH and the Swedish Transport Administration, and is funded by the Swedish Transport Administration, as part of a research program on the Vision Zero. 



Principal Investigator

Björn Lundgren Ph.D., Philosophy

Project members