Self-Driving Cars: Legal, Social, and Ethical Aspects
14 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2017
Date Written: December 18, 2013
Road safety statistics show a large number of casualties due to traffic accidents all over the world, which challenges the researchers and vehicle manufacturers to develop new technologies to reduce. In the last few years, vehicles that are capable of navigating autonomously (without a driver) have been developed and are expected to be released to the market in the near future. The testing of these cars is legally allowed in three American states, and some tests are also being conducted in some European countries. This new technology has many potential advantages; however the use of such cars in public roads can raise many questions. In this paper, the legal, social, and ethical questions of self-driving cars are raised, in order to figure out to what extent the current applicable laws and regulations can answer them. The legal questions are sorted into six groups; reliability, insurance, regulations, behaviours, liability, and security questions, while the social and ethical questions are grouped into three categories; privacy, behaviours, and social impact. Moreover, some legal ideas and recommendations for the future laws are suggested. To achieve a better understanding of the topic, a brief description of the autonomous cars’ technology and components is also provided.
Keywords: self-driving cars, autonomous vehicles, laws-regulations, liability, legal-social aspects
JEL Classification: K10, O30, P37, Z13
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