Computer says "Go!"
Driver liability when "eyes off/hands off" automation fails
Fully autonomous vehicles may be a few years away, but cars offering so-called “eyes off/hands off”, or “Level 3” automation, whereby the car is sufficiently capable that the driver’s role is limited to taking over control when requested by the car to do so, is expected to be commercially available in the very near future. In this episode we flash forward to summer 2023 and an accident involving a Level 3 autonomous vehicle. We consider how existing legal frameworks cope with the liability issues that arise when AI takes control of the driving but where the driver remains in the safety chain as a fallback for when the automation cannot cope.
- Riley-Smith QC and McCormick, ‘Liability for Physical Damage’ in The Law of Artificial Intelligence (2020), which helped to inspire our scenario.
- Glassbrook, Northey and Milligan, A Practical Guide to the Law of Driverless Cars (2019).
- The hack involved in this scenario: https://interestingengineering.com/teslas-autopilot-can-be-tricked-in-just-a-split-second-through-this-method