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Article
Sue My Car Not Me: Products Liability and Accidents Involving Autonomous Vehicles
University of Illinois Journal of Law, Technology & Policy (2013)
  • Jeffrey K Gurney, University of South Carolina - Columbia
Abstract
Autonomous vehicles will revolutionize society within the decade. These cars will cause accidents. Tort liability, however, is not ready for the introduction of autonomous vehicles, and, thus, liability will not be assessed to the party that is responsible for the accident. This Article addresses the liability of autonomous vehicle by examining products liability through the use of four scenarios: the Distracted Driver; the Diminished Capabilities Driver; the Disabled Driver; and the Attentive Driver.
Based on those scenarios, this Article argues that the autonomous technology manufacturer should be liable for accidents while the vehicle is in autonomous mode. This Article suggests that liability should depend on the nature of the driver and the ability of that person to prevent the accident. To create this scheme, legislatures need to enact laws to assess liability or courts will need to alter products liability doctrines for these accidents.
Keywords
  • Autonomous Vehicles,
  • Autonomous cars,
  • self-driving vehicles,
  • Products Liability,
  • Torts,
  • Technology
Disciplines
Publication Date
Fall 2013
Citation Information
Jeffrey K. Gurney, Sue My Car Not Me: Products Liability and Accidents Involving Autonomous Vehicles, 2013 U. Ill. J.L. Tech. & Pol'y 247(2013)