When a robot car makes a mistake, a human always gets the ticket

-THE GUARDIAN, 14 NOVEMBER 2015, FEAT. PROF. BRYANT WALKER SMITH:

When a California cop pulled over a Google self-driving car for holding up traffic this week, he knew he couldn’t send its robot driver to jail. But exactly where the responsibility lies for traffic problems caused by autonomous vehicles is not always so clear.

For minor offences like speeding or parking tickets, the person sitting behind the driver’s wheel is almost certainly going to face the music, says Bryant Walker Smith, an assistant professor in the School of Law at the University of South Carolina and expert on self-driving car law: “Under existing law, someone who is most immediately and obviously the operator of the vehicle would likely be treated as the driver.” <Read More>