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Prescriptive and proscriptive moral regulation for autonomous vehicles in approach and avoidance

Stanford News
May, 2016

Ethical frameworks and principles from philosophy have long been used to characterize human behavior. As driving is transitioning from human control to automated control, these ethical frameworks can be used to guide engineering design decisions for autonomous vehicles in a responsible manner. In particular, moral regulation provides two methods for guiding behavior. Proscriptive strategies emphasize rules, transgressions, and forbidding rule violation. Prescriptive strategies encourage achievement of goals. These two principles have been shown to map to human behavior regulation in approach and avoidance. These concepts have a natural parallel to driving strategies, and thus to differing outlooks on programming automated vehicles. In this paper, we apply proscriptive and prescriptive strategies to a model predictive control framework for an automated vehicle. Two scenarios featuring the ego vehicle navigating with obstacles in a roadway are used to elicit the resulting and differing vehicle behavior when either approach is used.

Publication Location: 
2016 IEEE International Symposium on Ethics in Engineering, Science and Technology (ETHICS)