Fast & Furious: The Misregulation Of Driverless Cars
Pearl, Tracy Hresko
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Discusses what types of laws should be in place to both further the development and use of driverless cars while providing appropriate legal consequences when things go wrong and there are accidents. Lawmakers who wish to pass sensible driverless car laws must carefully tailor those laws to the specific types of autonomous technologies at issue. Partially autonomous cars raise an entirely different set of regulatory challenges than fully autonomous cars and thus should be treated differently under the law. Lawmakers should also use language consistent with that being used by federal agencies when describing autonomous technologies in order to promote clarity and consistency between the states. Perhaps most importantly, however, lawmakers should use empirical data, rather than intuition or speculation to inform their decisions about whether to legislate and how to do so appropriately. Given the profound benefits that driverless cars have to offer, suppressing the development of those technologies now through legislative overreach would be a situation almost as tragic as the current rates of injuries and deaths on U.S. roads. Drivers and passengers deserve better.