“Self-Driving Vehicles – How Soon and Who Will Bear the Liability Costs?”

As Kenneth Anderson relates, scholars have begun putting quite a bit of thought is going into the question, and many realize that assigning strict liability for accidents to the deep pockets on the scene — manufacturers, designers, programmers and promoters — might not be an optimal safety strategy.


  • My prediction is that the question of liabilities is so fraught with the temptation to go for the deep pockets that it will never — barring alien invasion — become viable.

    Like flying cars, it will always be ‘just over the horizon’.

  • Strict liability would work if constrained by Workmen’s comp-type caps on payouts. If unlimited and speculative “punitive damages” are allowed, however, a safer form of driving is likely to be blocked.

  • Personal injury lawyers argue that taking manufacturers to court improves safety. Is it not somewhat ironic that a safer system will probably never be produced because everyone is running scared of liability.

    Not only have Lawyers never done anything to advance the human race, they are now holding it back.

  • Yes. this is a good idea. Let’s start hating trial lawyers for it by talking about the harm they are doing in the past tense before it actually even happens.

    I like it.