Next Article in Journal
Leverage and Volatility Feedback Effects and Conditional Dependence Index: A Nonparametric Study
Previous Article in Journal
Credit Rating and Pricing: Poles Apart
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
J. Risk Financial Manag. 2018, 11(2), 28;

Customer Preferences and Implicit Tradeoffs in Accident Scenarios for Self-Driving Vehicle Algorithms

Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Center for Risk & Insurance, 8401 Winterthur, Switzerland
Ernst & Young AG, 8010 Zurich, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 April 2018 / Revised: 30 May 2018 / Accepted: 30 May 2018 / Published: 4 June 2018
Full-Text   |   PDF [894 KB, uploaded 4 June 2018]   |  


The development of self-driving vehicles is proceeding rapidly and with significant investment of resources. However, a full-scale deployment is not imminent. Among the challenges self-driving vehicles are facing, they will have to navigate complex ethical challenges. The algorithms governing their behavior will have to decide how to steer them in situations where accidents cannot be avoided. In some of these situations they will have to decide which of several potential parties to injure in the process. We investigate the preferences of Swiss customers for this decision by forcing a selection between simplified scenarios where a given number of car passengers or a given number of pedestrians will be killed in the accident. Both passengers and pedestrians can be adults or children. The passengers are explicitly identified as the respondent themselves and their family. While children are implicitly valued higher than adults, Swiss customers value passengers and pedestrians implicitly roughly equally, and assign increasingly higher marginal values to additional people, both passengers and pedestrians. These results seem to partially contradict similar studies conducted in other countries and recent statements by automotive companies, potentially indicating the need to adapt both corporate communications and steering algorithms in different geographies. View Full-Text
Keywords: self-driving vehicles; autonomous vehicles; accident scenarios; preferences; tradeoffs self-driving vehicles; autonomous vehicles; accident scenarios; preferences; tradeoffs

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Pugnetti, C.; Schläpfer, R. Customer Preferences and Implicit Tradeoffs in Accident Scenarios for Self-Driving Vehicle Algorithms. J. Risk Financial Manag. 2018, 11, 28.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
J. Risk Financial Manag. EISSN 1911-8074 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top