Model-to-Decision Approach for Autonomous Vehicle Convoy Collision Ethics

James Pickering, Patricia Ashman, Alexander Gilbert, Dobrila Petrovic, Kevin Warwick, Keith Burnham

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    The introduction of autonomous vehicles (AVs) is expected to reduce the number of road traffic accidents; however, it is expected that this will not be completely without incidents. In the event of AV incidents, ethical decisions will need to be made, e.g. a decision between colliding into one of three different AVs ahead on a multiple lane highway. A possible solution to the ethical problem is known as the utilitarian approach; this involves the AV steering into the collision path of least loss of utility, e.g. lowest injury level or number of fatalities. Deciding on the collision outcome of such ethical problems involves the investigation of a model-to-decision (M2D) approach. Thus, using a mathematical model of the collision scenarios to then make decisions based on the severity of each outcome as a measure of utility loss. This research investigates the use of such an approach for AVs in convoy on a three-lane highway. The mathematical model of an AV convoy collision that has been developed is of a nonlinear (bilinear) lumped mass spring configuration. This model is used in conjunction with a pragmatic multi-criteria decision maker (MCDM). The results from the M2D approach highlight the effectiveness of the utilisation approach on-board future AVs to minimise utility loss in terms of the severity of road traffic injuries and/or number of fatalities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication2018 UKACC 12th International Conference on Control (CONTROL)
    Number of pages8
    ISBN (Electronic)9781538628645
    ISBN (Print)9781509064113
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2018
    EventUKACC 12th International Conference on Control 2018 - Sheffield, United Kingdom
    Duration: 5 Sept 20187 Sept 2018
    Conference number: 12


    ConferenceUKACC 12th International Conference on Control 2018
    Abbreviated titleCONTROL 2018
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


    • Autonomous Vehicle
    • Model-to-Decision
    • Machine
    • Ethics
    • Nonlinear Collision Modelling
    • Multi-Criteria Decision Making


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