Gaps in the control of automated vehicles on roads

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Increased on-road testing and market availability of partially automated vehicles (AV) offers researchers and developers the opportunity to evaluate the AV’s performance. The occurrence of new types of accidents involving AV’s has sparked questions in regard to who is actually in control over and responsible for AV control. In this contribution, we suggest a potential discrepancy in AV control with the review of recently documented accidents involving AV’s. The identification of a gap in control is performed using a recently formulated moral philosophical framework of Meaningful Human Control (MHC). This shows a discrepancy between the attribution of responsibility and the ability of a human to fulfil the role assigned to them. While a gap in control is not evident from the viewpoint of operational control, it requires the more intricate concept of MHC to expose it. Recommendations are further made that AV developers and vehicle approval authorities should consider control from a MHC perspective to avoid future gaps in control with the resulting consequences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-153
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Magazine
Volume13 (2021)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Vehicle control
  • Meaningful human control
  • Vehicle automation
  • Autonomous driving


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