“The use of expressions like ‘autonomy’ or ‘delegation of driving’ gives the illusion that the vehicle would make its own decisions and that the users would not have to take care of the driving and could release themselves from related responsibilities. », Underlines a committee. Above, a Tesla after a fatal accident on the 101 freeway in Mountain View, Calif., In March 2018. The driver complained shortly before his death that the Autopilot assisted driving system was not functioning properly in the area where the accident happened.
(Paris) We should not speak of an “autonomous” vehicle but rather of an “automated driving” vehicle so that drivers always feel responsible, according to an opinion published on Friday by experts in the ethics of digital on demand of the French government.
“The use of expressions like ‘autonomy’ or ‘delegation of driving’ gives the illusion that the vehicle would make its own decisions and that the users would not have to take care of the driving and could release themselves from the related responsibilities. », Emphasizes the committee.
While driving aids are improving, and driverless shuttles appear on the roads, the public authorities should therefore adopt the term “automated driving vehicle” in regulatory texts.
At the request of the French government, the National Pilot Committee for Digital Ethics addressed the main questions raised by the transfer from the steering wheel to the robot. The rapporteurs, robotics professor Raja Chatila and ethics specialist Catherine Tessier suggest several avenues to respect the rights of users while protecting them.
The Council recommends studying the value of reporting automated driving vehicles, “in order to prevent their behavior from surprising other road users”.
Driving license training could be adapted to driving these vehicles, “after having carried out studies on the required skills, the effective capacities for action, the relevant information, the appropriate human-machine interface, and more generally on interior design ”.
The driver of an automated driving vehicle should also be certain of being able to unlock and move the vehicle as he wishes, “unless requested by public authorities within a precise legal framework and for specific purposes”.
The impact of these vehicles on professional transport professions (bus drivers, taxis, VTC, utilities) should “be anticipated and assessed by sector, in order to create adequate training […] and invest in emerging sectors” .
More broadly, the introduction of private vehicles or self-driving public transport should give rise to citizen consultation and enhanced protection of user data.
As for responsibilities in the event of an accident, “the former driver who has become a passenger or user should be released from all responsibility for accidents caused by the vehicle”, specifies the CNPEN.
The companies at the origin of the technical failure, whether it be the manufacturer, the equipment manufacturers or the person in charge of the infrastructures, would then be made responsible, according to a method which remains to be established.