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Interview: Imagining laws for self-driving cars

Frank Douma discusses the legal and policy implications of driveless cars.

Where do you end up drawing the line in terms of if the car does something wrong, say if it ends up driving too fast? Do you put the liability on the person in the car who is happily texting and didn't realize what was happening, or do you say "this car cannot be driven autonomously because it doesn't work, and it's up to the driver to go to the manufacturer and get it fixed?" Here's another issue: If you have a self-driving vehicle that no one has to be in, is that a tool of terror? Theoretically you could put a bomb in the back or in the seat and send it on its merry way to create all sorts of havoc and mayhem without even having somebody put their life at risk along the way.

GJEL Blog
February 4, 2012

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Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs