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26 B.U. J. Sci. & Tech. L. 67 (2020)
Autonomous Vehicles and Liability: What Will Juries Do?

handle is hein.journals/jstl26 and id is 75 raw text is: 


                    WHAT WILL JURIES DO?

                    GARY MARCHANT AND RIDA BAZZI1

  Autonomous   vehicles (AVs) that can be operated without a human driver
are now being tested on public roads across America and are soon expected to
be commercialized and widely available. One of the greatest roadblocks holding
up  more  rapid deployment  of AVs  is manufacturers' concerns  about AV
liability. This article provides a real-world assessment of AV liability risks, and
concludes that manufacturers are indeed rightfully concerned about the extent
and impacts of liability on AVs. The article first examines the application of
product liability doctrine to AVs in various accident scenarios, drawing upon
previous vehicle product liability cases. While AV manufacturers will likely and
properly be held responsible for most accidents where  the vehicle itself is
responsible for the crash, the concern is that AV manufacturers may be sued and
often held liable even when the AV was not the cause of the collision. This is
because AVs  have  a much  greater capability to avoid collisions than does a
human-driven  vehicle, and thus in almost any crash scenario it may be possible
to argue that the AV should have detected and avoided the impending crash.
Thus, even though the total number of vehicle accidents should decrease with
AV  deployment,  the share and even net value of liability may go up for AV
manufacturers. Next, the article considers jury tendencies and psychology, and
concludes  that jurors will be particularly harsh on AVs that draw on exotic
artificial intelligence technology, and which may be involved in accidents that
harm  people notwithstanding their claims of improving overall vehicle safety.
These  factors are likely to result in more frequent and larger punitive damages
than in past motor vehicle product liability. Given these finding, the article
concludes by recognizing the need for some type of public policy intervention

     Gary Marchant is Regents' Professor, Lincoln Professor of Emerging Technologies,
 Law & Ethics, and Faculty Director of the Center for Law, Science & Innovation, Sandra Day
 O'Connor College of Law, Arizona State University. Rida Bazzi is Associate Professor in the
 School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering at Arizona State
 University. The authors acknowledge and appreciate the very helpful research assistance of
 Brandon Cartwright, Garrett Decker, and A.J. Gilman.

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