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Who's to Blame When a Driverless Car Has an Accident?

• fee.org by Raja Jurdak, Salil S. Kanhere

The news that an Uber self-driving vehicle has killed a pedestrian in the US has made headlines around the world.

It's a reminder that the era of self-driving cars is fast approaching. Decades of research into advanced sensors, mapping, navigation, and control methods have now come to fruition and autonomous cars are starting to hit the roads in pilot trials.

When it comes to autonomous vehicles, who is to blame in the case of an accident?

But partial or full autonomy raises the question of who is to blame in the case of an accident involving a self-driving car? In conventional (human-driven) cars, the answer is simple: the driver is responsible because they are in control. When it comes to autonomous vehicles, it isn't so clear-cut.

We propose a blockchain-based framework that uses sensor data to ascertain liability in accidents involving self-driving cars.

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