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Who's Liable, the AV or the Human Driver?

By Columbia Engineering

January 22, 2020

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Columbia Engineering and Columbia Law School researchers developed a fault-based liability rule for regulating autonomous vehicle (AV) manufacturers and human drivers.

Columbia Engineering's Sharon Di said human drivers view AVs as intelligent agents capable of adapting to aggressive and potentially dangerous driving behavior, which may encourage careless and riskier driving.

A game theory model assigns different goals to lawmakers, AV manufacturers, AVs, and human drivers in the transportation ecosystem, and visualizes the strategy each player arrives at so others will not exploit their decisions.

The researchers found an optimally-designed liability policy is essential to preventing human drivers from cultivating moral hazard, and to helping AV manufacturers with a tradeoff between traffic safety and production expenses.

Said Columbia Law's Eric Talley, "We hope our analytical tools will assist AV policymakers with their regulatory decisions, and in doing so, will help mitigate uncertainty in the existing regulatory environment around AV technologies."

From Columbia Engineering
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