The Liability Limits of Self-Driving Cars

Authors: Liliya Ivanova, Nikita Kalashnikov Published date: 01-03-2022 Status: Published

This article presents and discusses recent developments of using autonomous vehicles and analyses their effectiveness in terms of the theory of criminal responsibility for harm caused. The authors consider the liability of the autopilot according to several theoretical approaches. The main approaches assume liability for injury caused during the operation of the elevator, responsibility for damage caused by autopilots of large transport, and the charge of the human driver. There are some types of criminal liability concerning harm caused by autonomous vehicles. One way relates to using partially autonomous cars where a human driver is always responsible for driving. In the case of road incidents, only the human driver might be found guilty. In the case of full automation, when a human driver does not control the vehicle, be it autopilot as a self-learning program or not, only the developer or the technicians should be responsible in case of harm. Another case is related to the behaviour of the owner of the autonomous vehicle. The authors conclude that legal regulation is necessary. A separate corpus delicti as a new article is needed in the criminal legislation to provide criminal liability for death or other grave consequences caused by unmanned vehicles.

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