Imputing Driverhood: Applying a Reasonable Driver Standard to Accidents Caused by Autonomous Vehicles

Forthcoming, Robot Ethics 2.0

Posted: 18 Jun 2016 Last revised: 20 Aug 2017

See all articles by Jeffrey Gurney

Jeffrey Gurney

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP

Date Written: June 1, 2016

Abstract

As society embarks on the robotics revolution, lawmakers will need to enact laws that directly address robotic interactions with humans. They will have to consider who or what is responsible for any harm caused by robots and how to properly compensate the injured parties. If they do not, robot producers may incur unexpected and excessive costs, which would disincentivize investment. Or if victims are not adequately compensated, such producers may face a backlash from injured parties. This chapter examines these issues in the realm of autonomous vehicles, and it recommends that manufacturers of autonomous vehicles be treated as the drivers of their vehicles for purposes of assigning civil liability for harm caused by the vehicles’ autonomous mode.

Keywords: Autonomous Vehicles, Self-Driving Cars, AVs, Tort Law, Products Liability, Robot Ethics, Immunity, Reasonable Man

Suggested Citation

Gurney, Jeffrey, Imputing Driverhood: Applying a Reasonable Driver Standard to Accidents Caused by Autonomous Vehicles (June 1, 2016). Forthcoming, Robot Ethics 2.0. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2796966

Jeffrey Gurney (Contact Author)

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP ( email )

Poinsett Plaza 9th Floor
104 South Main Street
Greenville, SC 29601
United States

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