Straight Talks: Innovations in product liability for autonomous and connected vehicles

The autonomous vehicle revolution has introduced an exciting array of innovations into the automobile industry. Groundbreaking technology has created ingenious ways to address mobility and traffic issues. But it has also built unrealistic expectations about the safety, capabilities, and limitations of self-driving cars.

In part one of this four-part podcast, Michael Kidney and Sebastian Polly, both product liability partners at Hogan Lovells, expose little-known facts about the challenges that programmers, engineers, and operators face in this new autonomous driving world. For example, autonomous vehicle manufacturers in the EU face different thresholds for negligence than manufacturers in the U.S., as in the U.S. manufacturers could be held liable for not using technology they didn’t even know existed.

Scenarios are further complicated by the evolving definition of a “safe” vehicle. And, as technology is refined, the ethical complexities of “crash optimization” present a philosophical quandary, as manufacturers and consumers try to define the “acceptable” consequences of an unavoidable crash. 

Podcast hosted here.

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