The Case of the Autonomous Vehicle

Cite as: 61 Ateneo L.J. 759 (2017)
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Autonomous vehicles are continuously being developed and improved. From previously driver-assisted systems, technological advancements have now reached a status where the systems need only little or no human supervision or intervention. These vehicles are a direct result of the need to improve road safety. Experts have said that thoroughfares could be safer if vehicles were driven by robotic systems instead of erring humans.

In this Article, the Author examines some of the legal issues that have emerged following the introduction and development of autonomous vehicles. In particular, the Article discusses ethical dilemmas as well as legal and policy implications of programming the operational systems of autonomous vehicles. It tackles various approaches in determining liability in case of vehicular accidents, including those liabilities which may be incurred under existing laws in this jurisdiction. The Article likewise explores the effect of this emerging technology on the right to privacy of its passengers and owners. The Article concludes by offering key insights on how the law could further develop in order to encourage technological innovation.

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