Some Legal Issues behind Driverless Cars

Speaker: Michele Comenale Pinto, University of Sassari

Presentation is dedicated to the examination of regulatory requirements and liability framework of self-driving and driving-assisted cars (from level two and beyond of the SAE classification), in comparison with those of other kinds of autonomous vehicles (such as drones and autonomous ships). In particular, it considers the possibility of moving beyond experiments and admitting self-driving cars circulation outside segregated areas. Ethical implications are taken into consideration, starting from the well-known «trolley problem», and expected repercussions on civil and criminal liability. Other big problem to be considered is definition of standards, with its implications on industrial property rights (in terms of «essential facility» doctrine). A reference to significant previous analogous cases experienced in the field of transport-facilities (e.g. ACAS and GPS) has to be considered.