Streamlining advanced taxi assignment strategies based on legal analysis
In recent years many novel applications have appeared that promote the provision of services and activities in a collaborative manner. The key idea behind such systems is to take advantage of idle or underused capacities of existing resources, in order to provide improved services that assist people in their daily tasks, with additional functionality, enhanced efficiency, and/or reduced cost. Particularly in the domain of urban transportation, many researchers have put forward novel ideas, which are then implemented and evaluated through prototypes that usually draw upon AI methods and tools. However, such proposals also bring up multiple non-technical issues that need to be identified and addressed adequately if such systems are ever meant to be applied to the real world. While, in practice, legal and ethical aspects related to such AI-based systems are seldomly considered in the beginning of the research and development process, we argue that they not only restrict design decisions, but can also help guiding them. In this manuscript, we set out from a prototype of a taxi coordination service that mediates between individual (and autonomous) taxis and potential customers. After representing key aspects of its operation in a semi-structured manner, we analyse its viability from the viewpoint of current legal restrictions and constraints, so as to identify additional non-functional requirements as well as options to address them. Then, we go one step ahead, and actually modify the existing prototype to incorporate the previously identified recommendations. Performing experiments with this improved system helps us identify the most adequate option among several legally admissible alternatives.
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