A systems engineering approach to regulating autonomous systems

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Date

2017

Authors

Britton, David

Advisors

Cummings, Mary

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Abstract

Autonomous systems are emerging across many industries. From unmanned aircraft to self-driving cars to closed-loop medical devices, these systems offer great benefits but also pose new risks. Regulators must grapple with how to manage these risks, challenged to keep pace with technological developments and exhibit appropriate precaution without stifling innovation. Seeking inspiration for a viable approach to the regulation of autonomous systems, this thesis draws from the practices of systems engineering, an interdisciplinary field of engineering aimed at managing the risks of complex projects. By comparing systems engineering practices to regulatory options, current regulations, and the inherent challenges of regulating emerging technologies, this thesis concludes that a systems engineering-based approach to regulating autonomous systems offers great potential for managing the risks of autonomous systems while also driving innovation.

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Citation

Britton, David (2017). A systems engineering approach to regulating autonomous systems. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/15242.

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