A leading solicitor who specialises in transport issues says both civil and criminal law has told Smart Highways legislation will need to change to cope with different issues surrounding driverless cars.
Contributing to the magazine’s Atkins Investigation, Chris Jackson from Bristol-based firm Burges Salmon said that a connected or autonomous vehicle will require a move to a product-based and strict liability model.
Mr Jackson added that human factors mean also that we will not be able to maintain in the medium term, “a fiction of a disengaged individual ready to take back control. That is a necessary but ultimately unsustainable short term fix,” he says. He explains that data use and protection – including cyber security and data protection will need to be looked at, as will safety Law, intellectual property and the “tense dichotomy between standardisation, innovation and IP exploitation by providers”.
There will also need to be changes to procurement and state aid (given the likely balance of funding during early phases), competition law, with some “hard choices in the post sale market on service to be made”, as well as road traffic and insurance regulatory requirements.
The disputes lawyer, who chairs his firm’s Transport Sector group, also warned that, while some of the changes can be made nationally, a number will require international approaches.
Chris Jackson is one of the panel who talked to Lee Woodcock for the latest Atkins Investigation in Smart Highways which will reach subscribers in the next few days. A sneak preview of the latest Atkins Investigation will go online soon.