Autonomous Vehicles, Privacy, and the Future

In recent news, a self-driving car hit and killed an Arizona woman and made headlines. Our hearts go out to her and her loved ones. Uber has been very cooperative with law enforcement, the investigation, and they are determined to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it.

Uber has correctly decided to suspend its autonomous vehicles until the technology can be assessed and improved, thus preventing or reducing the chance of another accident. This is the first known lethal accident that involved an autonomous vehicle and a pedestrian.

This accident has created a lot of questions as we explore and test new autonomous technology that is designed to increase the safety of our roads. By removing drivers from the equation and even the entire steering wheel, the idea is that machine learning software can and will drive better than humans.

When a traffic accident occurs, the drill is pretty standard. Question everyone, look at the facts, and try to determine who is at fault. But what happens when there is no driver of the vehicle?

There are essentially two scenarios:

  • A product liability lawsuit alleging the manufacturer of the car/technology or company that installed the technology is responsible for the incident by putting the product into the marketplace.
  • A negligence lawsuit against the driver for failing to take control when the technology failed – but what if there is no steering wheel or driver?

Both scenario possess very different legal elements, defenses, and burdens of proof. There is also a difference between self-driving vehicles and vehicles which possess driver assistance technology (i.e. lane assist, automatic braking, etc.)

The law has not kept up with technology, and it will be forced to evolve and adapt very rapidly. There are things that will need to be updated (Read more...)

This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog post authored by Aaron Bryson. Read the original post at: Cylance Blog