What are the legal implications of driverless cars?

Automotive World looks at the issue of liability, one of the greatest challenges in the race to commercialise driverless cars

What are the legal implications of driverless cars?

Automotive World’s special report on the legal implications of driverless cars discusses the liability, regulatory and insurance matters associated with deploying autonomous vehicles on public roads.

Who is responsible when an autonomous car is involved in a collision? Aside from mastering the technology and developing a viable business case, this is one of the greatest challenges for autonomous vehicle (AV) roll-out and deployment.

The statement by Volvo Cars’ Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson, in 2015, that Volvo Cars would accept full liability for its vehicles operating in autonomous mode, set a new benchmark—but automakers are understandably reluctant to assume total responsibility for any vehicle or technology they produce.

Expect the chain of liability to grow as vehicle automation advances, with the list of potential recipients of a court order likely to include not only automakers, but also suppliers, software developers and connectivity providers.

The insurance industry is watching developments in autonomous driving very closely, and major changes will need to be made to legal systems to handle liability, particularly in instances of damage involving a driverless car using self-learning artificial intelligence.

In this report:

‘Special report: What are the legal implications of driverless cars?opens with an article commissioned exclusively for Automotive World by Rebecca Chaney, Maarten Stassen and Evan Chuck of Crowell & Moring LLP, and presents insight from a range of leading stakeholders, including:

  • AAA
  • AXA Insurance
  • Dykema
  • Ertico – ITS Europe
  • Honigman
  • Insurance Information Institute
  • MaaS Alliance
  • ai
  • Swiss Re
  • US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
  • White & Case LLP
  • Zoox