“Autonomous driving & law” conference on 4th of May 2016

Autonomous cars are about to conquer our streets. Delivery services, picking up children from their football training or cab rides – could all these activities be performed in the future without any human being in front of the steering wheel? Are these ideas already in our near future or are they utopian dreams?

Fifteen years ago, they were pure fantasies; nowadays, they are a tangible reality. Autonomous vehicles are already driving on the streets in some parts of the USA and the evolution of autonomous driving has started in Europe as well. Legal frameworks are being formed, test tracks are being planned and research and development are being promoted.

But when will autonomous vehicles become a part of our daily lives? Which conditions have to be created and which circumstances have to be considered? And what is the relationship between autonomous driving and law?

In order to discuss this question and many others, the Institute of Law and Priv. Doz. Dr. Konrad Lachmayers “Constitutional Thinking Beyond Borders” organised a conference titled “Autonomous Driving and Law” which took place on 4th of May 2016 at the Simony-Haus of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences.

Four panels of experts gave talks on legal policy, technological perspectives, legal frameworks, and a cross-national comparative legal approach. Subjects discussed included questions of liability within civil and criminal law, dilemmas in moral philosophy, the operating principle of learning algorithms, and possible scenarios in terms of traffic planning and market development.

The speakers agreed that it was only a matter of time until autonomous vehicles would be fit for everyday use. This period of time is to be used efficiently in order to exploit the potential of this new technology and to address potential risks. Further interesting challenges are yet to be discovered.

Lisa Müllner/Thomas Buocz, 10.05.2016

Please find the programme of the conference here: Autonomous driving & law