Designing Automated Vehicles Around Human Values

  • J. Christian GerdesEmail author
  • Sarah M. Thornton
  • Jason Millar
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Mobility book series (LNMOB)


The impact of automated vehicles will reverberate across society in many dimensions, changing our expectations of mobility, safety, employment and other aspects of life we value. These major societal changes will, in turn, be the result of a number of small engineering decisions that, when aggregated, determine the system behavior. For automated vehicles to have the benefits their advocates envision, we must bridge the gap between these individual decisions and the societal impacts they create. This paper discusses some of the challenges faced by engineers in bridging this gap and proposes a value-centered approach to the design of automated vehicles. Such an approach engages stakeholders early in the process, identifying values and tensions with enough specificity to drive subsequent engineering choices.


Autonomous vehicles Human values Ethical programming 



The authors would like to thank Daimler AG and the Ford Motor Company for their support of this research and for participating in our workshops.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Christian Gerdes
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sarah M. Thornton
    • 1
  • Jason Millar
    • 2
  1. 1.Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.University of OttawaOttawaCanada

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