Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Journal of Intelligent and Connected Vehicles








The present study examined the impact of aging on ethical decision-making in simulated critical driving scenarios. 204 participants from North America, grouped into two age groups (18–30 years and 65 years and above), were asked to decide whether their simulated automated vehicle should stay in or change from the current lane in scenarios mimicking the Trolley Problem. Each participant viewed a video clip rendered by the driving simulator at Old Dominion University and pressed the space-bar if they decided to intervene in the control of the simulated automated vehicle in an online experiment. Bayesian hierarchical models were used to analyze participants' responses, response time, and acceptability of utilitarian ethical decision-making. The results showed significant pedestrian placement, age, and time-to-collision (TTC) effects on participants' ethical decisions. When pedestrians were in the right lane, participants were more likely to switch lanes, indicating a utilitarian approach prioritizing pedestrian safety. Younger participants were more likely to switch lanes in general compared to older participants. The results imply that older drivers can maintain their ability to respond to ethically fraught scenarios with their tendency to switch lanes more frequently than younger counterparts, even when the tasks interacting with an automated driving system. The current findings may inform the development of decision algorithms for intelligent and connected vehicles by considering potential ethical dilemmas faced by human drivers across different age groups.


© The Authors 2024.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License.

Data Availability

Article states: "The replication package for this study is accessible for download at This package contains organized files obtained by processing the raw data CSV files."

Original Publication Citation

Singh, A., Yahoodik, S., Murzello, Y., Petkac, S., Yamani, Y., & Samuel, S. (2024). Ethical decision-making in older drivers during critical driving situations: An online experiment. Journal of Intelligent and Connected Vehicles, 7(1), 30-37.


0000-0001-8990-0010 (Yamani)