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Autonomous Vehicles and the Law

Technology, Algorithms and Ethics Hannah YeeFen Lim, Associate Professor of Business Law, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Autonomous vehicles have attracted a great deal of attention in the media, however there are some inconsistencies between the perception of autonomous vehicles’ capabilities and their actual functions. This book provides an accessible explanation of how autonomous vehicles function, suggesting appropriate regulatory responses to the existing and emerging technology.
Extent: c 160 pp
Hardback Price: $99.95 Web: $89.95
Publication Date: December 2018
ISBN: 978 1 78811 510 0
Availability: Not yet published (pre-order)
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  • eISBN: 978 1 78811 511 7

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Autonomous vehicles have attracted a great deal of attention in the media, however there are some inconsistencies between the perception of autonomous vehicles’ capabilities and their actual functions. This book provides an accessible explanation of how autonomous vehicles function, suggesting appropriate regulatory responses to the existing and emerging technology.

Hannah YeeFen Lim explores the current capabilities of autonomous vehicles and importantly, highlights their inherent limitations. Lim provides a concise and easy to follow overview of the technology behind autonomous vehicles which encompasses hardware and software aspects, including machine learning algorithms. Having laid the technical foundation, the following chapters assess the current legal standards in negligence law that are applicable to autonomous vehicles taking the current technical limitations of the vehicles into account. Lim concludes by exploring the ethical issues associated with autonomous vehicles and proposes appropriate regulatory approaches.

This book will be of great value to policy makers seeking a deeper understanding of the technology behind autonomous vehicles in order to inform and guide the development of laws and regulations. Legal practitioners will benefit from the discussion of recent use cases and applicable negligence law. Legal scholars researching artificial intelligence will also find the author’s easy to understand technical explanations and discourse on ethical considerations invaluable.
‘Professor Lim’s expertise in both law and computer science is evident in this clear and crisp assessment of liability issues surrounding Automated Vehicles (AV’s). She demystifies the science and technology underlying this phenomenon that has captured the public imagination and left law and policy-makers scrambling. Transcending the hype around AVs, Professor Lim’s thoughtful and tech-savvy application of negligence principles provides an essential framework through which the risks and benefits of AV technology can be more cogently assessed and addressed.’
– Teresa Scassa, University of Ottawa, Canada

‘Self-driving cars are the vanguard of AI-based autonomous systems, machines which are about to transform our world. This book is a wonderful introduction and resource, both to the technology and the legal questions that we are facing. The author provides a clear how-to guide to regulating systems that are hard-to-understand but which, within a few years, will be piloting large pieces of metal at speed down roads that we used to have to ourselves. Recommended for anyone who thinks about what the future should look like.’
– Dan Hunter, Swinburne Law School, Australia
Contents 1. Introduction 2. How autonomous vehicles function 3. Verifiable Standards of Care 4. Software: Difficult to verify standards of care 5. The road less travelled for regulators 6. Ethical responsibilities and autonomous vehicles 7. For a smoother ride … Index