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Current Research Projects: DAAD

DAAD-Project: Cataloguing Ethical Scenarios in Autonomous Vehicles


From Navigational Data to Ontologies – Knowledge Integration for Cataloguing Ethical Scenarios in Autonomous Vehicles

For this project, the Cologne Business School and the AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków are cooperating. It aims to clarify ethical questions in connection with automated and autonomous driving. The fact that there is a need for research in this area is underlined by the German government’s plans for autonomous driving:

“With the law on autonomous driving currently in preparation, Germany wants to be the first country in the world to allow driverless motor vehicles in regular operation as well as in the entire national scope. The goal is to have vehicles with autonomous driving functions in regular operation by 2022. A common mobility data space should promote new business models and enable ‘sovereign and differentiated handling of data’.”

That is where the research project comes in. It pursues an integrative approach that brings together philosophical-ethical and engineering-scientific-technical perspectives. The goals pursued can be briefly outlined as followed:

  • Development of a catalogue of ethically relevant situations in road traffic. In order to represent the complexity of possible situations, a system is developed that generates theoretically possible situations in road traffic. Such a system makes a valuable contribution to top-down situation analysis in road traffic.

  • Integration models for data in autonomous vehicles. Autonomous vehicles receive and generate a large amount of data. The research investigates how these data streams can be integrated and incorporated bottom-up into ethical decision-making.

  • Validation of autonomous driving prototypes in simulation models. Ethically relevant situations in road traffic are simulated on the basis of the open-source system CARLA and the ethical decision-making models previously developed are evaluated in this way.

Funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).