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Will Lawsuits Kill The Autonomous Car?

Publication Date: 
April 15, 2013
MSN Autos
Douglas Newcomb

Professor Dan Siciliano is quoted by Douglas Newcomb in this MSN Autos article on the length of conversations being had in the legal community discussing the ramifications of self-driving cars. 

The discussion on self-driving cars is no longer hypothetical. As automakers, suppliers and Google accelerate work on autonomous vehicles, we can already predict the future.

Politicians are also clearing the way for self-driving cars by passing laws that allow autonomous vehicles to operate on public roads on a state-by-state basis. But along with public acceptance, liability is by far the biggest hurdle, experts agree.

Lawyers have been discussing the ramifications of self-driving cars for some time, according to F. Daniel Siciliano, an associate dean at Stanford Law School. Siciliano spoke about this issue at an event I attended to kick off Stanford's REVS program.

That event was two years ago, before "if" turned to "when" in our talks on autonomous vehicles. I approached Siciliano after his talk and asked if self-driving cars were a topic that the legal community was just starting to take into consideration. "No, this is something we’ve been discussing for several years now," he replied.