A Survey Study of Autonomous Vehicle Moral Dilemma: A Turkish Perspective

HİMMETOĞLU S., ZENGİN E., Orkmez F., Tekeli A.

27th International Scientific Conference on Transport Means 2023, Hybrid, Palanga, Lithuania, 4 - 06 October 2023, vol.1, pp.214-219 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 1
  • City: Hybrid, Palanga
  • Country: Lithuania
  • Page Numbers: pp.214-219
  • Keywords: autonomous vehicles, ethical preferences, moral dilemma, unavoidable crash
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


With the swift development of artificial intelligence, there emerged questions regarding the moral decisions that will be made by autonomous vehicles in the event of an unavoidable crash. The major obstacle to evaluating morality is the challenge of quantifying ethical principles and societal expectations. There are many moral dilemmas that autonomous vehicles face that are to be explored. In this study, a survey is conducted to understand how the Turkish public expects autonomous vehicles to act in certain situations. This will allow an insight into how social structure and culture play a part in morality and what is “right”. The survey begins with analysing the profile and personality of the participants. Questions such as age, gender, and history of experiencing a car accident are there to have a better understanding of the reasons that lie behind the decision-making process. The participant's interest in autonomous vehicle technology as well as enlightening information of the technology such as the concept of the levels of autonomous vehicles are presented. It is a goal to inform about the technology as well as use the retrieved data to conduct a better understanding of moral dilemmas. The following parts of the survey are realistic crash scenarios that are explained and the participants are asked to make choices just as they would if they were in an autonomous vehicle. Scenarios such as an avoidance of an animal, avoidance of a motorcycle, decision making between an elderly or a child, decision making between oneself or the other user, decision making between different genders and decision making between a larger quantity of people compared to a lesser quantity of people are included in the survey. These scenarios are supported with visuals. The data provides an understanding of ethical decision making in the light of societal and cultural aspects. This study can give an insight for future improvements in autonomous vehicle programming and shine a light on matters of the moral dilemma regarding whether this dilemma is to be looked at in a cultural aspect or to be in accordance with the universal law. The factors in employing decision-making can be altered depending on the country. This study provides a social view on this matter.