Real-world ethics for self-driving cars
Paper in proceeding, 2020

Ethical and social problems of the emerging technology of selfdriving cars can best be addressed through an applied engineeringethical approach. However, currently social and ethical problemsare typically being presented in terms of an idealized unsolvabledecision-making problem, the so-called Trolley Problem. Instead,we propose that ethical analysis should focus on the study of ethicsof complex real-world engineering problems. As software plays acrucial role in the control of self-driving cars, software engineeringsolutions should handle actual ethical and social considerations. Wetake a closer look at the regulative instruments, standards, design,and implementations of components, systems, and services and wepresent practical social and ethical challenges that must be met inthe ecology of the socio-technological system of self-driving carswhich implies novel expectations for software engineering in theautomotive industry.

Software Engineering



Decision Making

Social Aspects

Autonomous Cars

Trolley Problem

Self-Driving Cars


Tobias Holstein

Mälardalens högskola

Gordana Dodig Crnkovic

Mälardalens högskola

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Interaction design

Patrizio Pelliccione

University of L'Aquila

University of Gothenburg

Proceedings - International Conference on Software Engineering

02705257 (ISSN)

328-329 3390801
9781450371223 (ISBN)

42nd ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE-Companion 2020
Virtual, Online, South Korea,

Subject Categories


Human Aspects of ICT

Software Engineering



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