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Marchant comments on liability concerns with autonomous cars


April 18, 2012

ASU Regents’ Professor Gary Marchant, faculty director of the College of Law’s Center for Law, Science & Innovation, was quoted in an April 17 Wall Street Journal article, “But Can It Find the Perfect Parking Spot, Too?,” by reporter Joseph B. White.

The article reported on technology that makes vehicles capable of “piloting themselves under certain conditions without the direct participation of the driver.”

“Liability concerns could be an incredible barrier to autonomous cars,” Marchant said.

By offering a fully self-driving car, automakers could be assuming the risks if one of the cars is in a serious accident, he said. Marchant said that a possible solution would be legislation shielding automakers from state liability claims, or arrangements in which car makers pay more for liability insurance, passing on the costs to car buyers with the understanding that insurers will charge them less because the self-driving cars are safer.

To read the article, click here.

Marchant, ASU Lincoln Professor of Emerging Technologies, Law and Ethics, frequently lectures about the intersection of law and science at national and international conferences. He has authored more than 60 articles and book chapters on various issues relating to emerging technologies. Among other activities, he has served on two National Research Council committees, has been the principal investigator on several major grants, and has organized numerous academic conferences on law and science issues.