Germany adopts roadmap on ethical autonomous driving

24.08.2017

Yesterday, the German government has adopted a roadmap on ethical guidelines for automated driving. The country, which was the first one to pass legislation on this subject, had installed an ethics commission to develop recommendations vis-a-vis this law. Now, the German Minister for Transport, following a cabinet meeting, officially presented the final report. It suggests, for instance, that cars should not weigh lives against each other, which is in line with constitutional jurisprudence in the country. Additionally, the report mandates to establish in each driving situation, whether responsibility lies with the driver or the autonomous car. The cabinet will now have to translate these recommendations into workable traffic rules and additional regulation on topics such as liability.

Meanwhile, a new report by American news outlet Bloomberg suggests that a near-complete rewrite of the US traffic code, which dates back to 1967, will be required to adapt to automated driving. The reason for this is that many rules explicitly refer to a human driver, which might become obsolete under autonomous driving. The code encompasses over 900 pages, leading Bloomberg to the conclusion that it will take a considerable amount of times and resources to address the task

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