Driverless, or autonomous, cars are being tested on public roadways across the United States. For example, California implemented a new regulation in 2018 that allows manufacturers to test driverless cars without a person inside the vehicle, so long as the manufacturers adhere to numerous requirements. The emergence of these vehicles raises questions about accident liability and the reach of state regulation regarding driverless cars. To address these questions, it is beneficial to look at the liability framework for another artificial intelligence system, such as surgical robots. This Note will explore possible frameworks of liability before arguing in support of further regulation of driverless cars and hypothesize that the liability for driverless car accidents will likely shift from the driver to the manufacturer.
Madeline Roe, Who’s Driving That Car?: An Analysis of Regulatory and Potential Liability Frameworks for Driverless Cars 60 Boston College Law Review 315 (2019).