Daily Archives: April 14, 2013

Robo-cars face a new threat: Lawyers

Self-driving cars, including Google's, could be run off the road by the existential threat of trial lawyers.

(Credit: Getty Images)

STANFORD, Calif. — Self-driving cars are expected to save lives: a vehicle driven by a human will experience, on average, a crash every 160,000 miles or so. It’s only a matter of time, advocates say, before robots become better drivers than us.

That is, if the lawyers let them. Industry insiders are already fretting about a host of legal problems that could bedevil robot car makers once a sufficient number of their creations take to the roads. Product liability, tort law, negligence, foreseeable harm, patent encumbrance, and design defects are only some of the concerns.

“The longer it takes for this technology to reach the market, the more people die,” Josh Blackman, a law professor at the South Texas College of Law, said yesterday at a conference hosted by Stanford University called “We Robot: Getting Down to Business.”

Self-driving cars: Where do they go from here? (pictures)

1-2 of 6 Scroll Left Scroll Right[Read more]


Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET