Public perception on the responsibility for incidents involving autonomous vehicles

| Sieuwert van Otterloo | Artificial Intelligence


This paper has been published in the “Computer and Society Research Journal“, a free to publish, open access journal for socially relevant computer science research.

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We conducted a survey to investigate the public perception of the blame for incidents where autonomous vehicles (AVs) make poor decisions when faced with challenging road infrastructure. Respondents overwhelmingly blamed the vehicle for the incident, with the second most common liable party being the driver. The road owner received only a small part of the blame. Based on our survey results, the public feels that AVs should be programmed to handle road infrastructure in its current state, rather than expecting infrastructure to be adapted for the needs of autonomous vehicles. Respondents were also asked how safe they consider AVs to be. Very few respondents considered AVs to be safe currently, although that may be because they had just watched videos of incidents involving AVs. Despite saying that they feel AVs to be unsafe, the majority would use AV features in at least some circumstances.

We showed participants the following video fragments during the survey:

Case 1 – mountain road

Case 2 – dirty road

Case 3 – unmarked intersection

Case 4 – breakdown bay

Case 5 – snowy road

Case 6 – road closure

Case 7 – traffic lights

Case 8 – sharp bend

Case 9 – exit lane

How to cite this paper

We recommend you to use the following code to cite the paper:

title={Public perception on the responsibility for incidents involving autonomous vehicles},
author={Le Rutte, W. A. and Atkins, S. and van Otterloo, S.},
journal={Computers and Society Research Journal},

It should look similar to this, depending on your template:

Le Rutte, Atkins and van Otterloo, 2021. Public perception on the responsibility for incidents involving autonomous vehicles, Computers and Society Research Journal (2021), 2, https://doi.org/10.54822/QBYL2425

Author: Sieuwert van Otterloo
Dr. Sieuwert van Otterloo is a court-certified IT expert with interests in agile, security, software research and IT-contracts.