Rethinking Certification for Higher Trust and Ethical Safeguarding of Autonomous Systems

by   Dasa Kusnirakova, et al.

With the increasing complexity of software permeating critical domains such as autonomous driving, new challenges are emerging in the ways the engineering of these systems needs to be rethought. Autonomous driving is expected to continue gradually overtaking all critical driving functions, which is adding to the complexity of the certification of autonomous driving systems. As a response, certification authorities have already started introducing strategies for the certification of autonomous vehicles and their software. But even with these new approaches, the certification procedures are not fully catching up with the dynamism and unpredictability of future autonomous systems, and thus may not necessarily guarantee compliance with all requirements imposed on these systems. In this paper, we identified a number of issues with the proposed certification strategies, which may impact the systems substantially. For instance, we emphasize the lack of adequate reflection on software changes occurring in constantly changing systems, or low support for systems' cooperation needed for the management of coordinated moves. Other shortcomings concern the narrow focus of the awarded certification by neglecting aspects such as the ethical behavior of autonomous software systems. The contribution of this paper is threefold. First, we discuss the motivation for the need to modify the current certification processes for autonomous driving systems. Second, we analyze current international standards used in the certification processes towards requirements derived from the requirements laid on dynamic software ecosystems and autonomous systems themselves. Third, we outline a concept for incorporating the missing parts into the certification procedure.


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