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Audi SocAIty study on legal and ethical aspects of autonomous driving

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When the markets have solved the pandemic problem and rediscovered the balance in the supply of microchips and when the green mobility transition has been clarified, a new ‘revolution’ will impact the habits of motorists in industrialized countries: autonomous driving.
This is a novelty that will change the way people travel and, above all, take advantage of mobility services, but which will also lead to having to resolve legal, ethical and social issues.
“After electromobility, the next most radical change will be the move to smarter and ultimately autonomous vehicles – says Markus Duesmann, CEO of Audi AG – For Audi, autonomous driving is a key technology that can make traffic safer. and more comfortable and inclusive mobility “.

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A truly important issue, on which the House of the Four Rings has fully committed itself and which led, as part of the & Audi Initiative, to the publication of SocAIty 2021, a study carried out by experts from Europe, the United States and Asia and which examines the overall social dimension of autonomous driving.
With the Volkswagen Group’s software company Cariad, Audi is pursuing the introduction of this technology at full speed in the second half of this decade. Both the technological maturity of driving systems and the social dimension are very important for autonomous driving to gain wide acceptance.

Apart from the general legal and political conditions – underlines Audi – people’s attitudes are fundamental for new technologies such as autonomous driving to take hold.
In the 70 pages of the SocAIty study 19 scientific, political and economic experts discussed central issues concerning the future of autonomous driving by addressing three focal points: Law and progress (current issues of responsibility), Relations of trust between man and machine (ethical dimension of autonomous driving) and finally Network security (data protection and security).
“All in all, the result is an image of mobility which will be different in 2030 than it appears today, but which will do so without becoming science fiction – says Saskia Lexen, project manager of & Audi Initiative at Audi AG – we therefore want to set expectations in society. appropriate on the possibilities and limits of technology and create trust “.
One of the conclusions of the study is that relating to the change in mobility in 2030 which will be more diversified and compartmentalized by producing more mobility solutions adapted to the objectives of the users, including the increase in forms of micro-mobility. The demand will also increasingly be determined by the position of the person.

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Most experts see the United States as a driving force for autonomous driving, using new technologies that will not necessarily be developed there, but which will be applied in that market thanks to the presence of capital and expertise. The reasons for this include a certain expansion of infrastructure and a high degree of social appreciation for new technologies.
According to the study, Germany and Europe will primarily be innovation sites for vehicle technologies and high-volume manufacturing, as well as playing an important role as sales markets ten years from now. As a result, European consumer rights and data protection regulations will impact global conditions and product standards for the entire industry.

Acceptance will largely depend on personal experience. In 2030, mobility will be characterized by a new type of mixed traffic, in which autonomous vehicles will encounter vehicles driven by people. Road users will have to adapt gradually and will have to learn new rules. But for this major cultural shift, people will need time to establish a good relationship of trust with autonomous driving.
Another ‘key’ element is that of dangerous situations. “If we discuss who to prioritize to avoid damage – underlines Christoph Lütge, director of the Institute for Ethics in Artificial Intelligence at the University of Munich – we will not go very far”.
When addressing the ethical aspects of autonomous driving, the Audi study reiterates, the discussion is often emotional and ideologized based on ethical and safety considerations. Experts agree that the next important step will be to clearly define the ethical foundations based on realistic situations and to address the real challenges and questions that companies and lawmakers are confronted with.


Source From: Ansa

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