The primary focus of this white paper, produced by Catherine Menon of Hertfordshire University, is on the intersection of safety and ethics for automated vehicles. The material for this white paper has its origins in the research performed and the workshops organised by the Transport Systems Catapult on behalf of the Department for Transport.
Autonomous systems (a category which includes automated vehicles) have been proposed for use in multiple domains, with examples including nuclear containment, defence systems, health and transport. This paper discusses the ethical landscape surrounding the introduction and operation of autonomous vehicles as a form of transport on the public road network. Use of autonomous vehicles in other domains (e.g. as a defence capability or a form of medical transport) is likely to impose ethical requirements which go beyond the scope of this document, and for which this paper refers the reader to existing literature.
This report summarises the output from Work Package 7 (titled ‘Autonomous and Connected Vehicles Impact’); a deliverable of the Station Innovation 2 project which has been undertaken by the Transport Systems Catapult (TSC) on behalf of the Department for Transport (DfT).
This work package considers how Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) may develop over the next decade and how these could be integrated with future station designs and operations in order to provide an efficient interchange in a multi-modal transport system.
This project investigates abnormal driving situations, classifies them into a taxonomy and goes on to consider potential solutions for how to handle some of the more challenging automated driving scenarios.
The majority of the driving task is relatively routine, but occasionally situations demand the driver to take action which is out of the ordinary or requires the driver to make an interpretation of the situation and act in a considered manner (common sense driving). Such situations could present challenges to Automated Vehicles (AVs) and their developers. AVs will need to adhere to rules governing their behaviour. If the rules and regulations governing vehicle behaviour within abnormal situations are not clear, then this could lead to unexpected or undesirable behaviour amongst AVs. Indeed, AVs may behave differently to the same abnormal situation depending on the AV manufacturer and the software algorithms that have been deployed.
This study investigates how planning, designing, appraisal, implementation and operation of road infrastructure could adapt as a result of the introduction of CAVs.
Highways authorities, public bodies, developers and other organisations rely on planning and guidance material to guide future transport provision and investment priorities. Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) have the potential to revolutionise transport, but many planning and guidance documents remain silent on the issue. In some cases, this is because the research that contributed to these documents pre-dates the technological progress that has been made in recent years in relation to CAVs. In other cases, there may be a reluctance to comment on a future which can appear to be unclear and rapidly changing. What is certain, however, is that the more we discuss the potential opportunities and issues that CAVs present, and the more strategies that are developed for maximising the benefits of them, the more likely it is that a positive outcome from their implementation can be achieved.
This award winning paper by TSC Technologist Carl Goves presents the results of applying an artificial neural network to estimate traffic conditions 15 minutes into the future on a section of motorway within the UK.