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If Your Robot Car Crashes, Who Pays The Bill?

Publication Date: 
February 06, 2012
The Washington Post - Wonk Blog
Ezra Klein

Director of Privacy and Robotics at the Center for Internet and Society M. Ryan Calo spoke with the Washington Post's Ezra Klein to answer some legal questions pertaining to self-driving cars/

Wired’s article on self-driving cars suggests that the remaining hurdles are at least as much legal as they are technological:

Beyond bureaucracy, there are deeper legal questions. Ryan Calo, director for privacy and robotics at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, which is studying the legal framework for quasi-autonomous vehicles, notes how active the liability landscape already is when it comes to cars’ safety features. “People sue over all kinds of stuff. People sue because some feature that was supposed to protect them didn’t. People sue because their car didn’t have a blind-spot warning when other cars at the same price point did.” Imagine the complexity we’ll have when cars drive themselves. Who will be responsible for their operation — the car companies or the drivers? What happens, for example, when a highway patrol officer pulls over a self-driving car? Who gets the ticket?