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Legal Aspects of Automated Driving

On drivers, producers, and public authorities
PhD ceremony:dr. N.E. (Nynke) Vellinga
When:February 20, 2020
Supervisors:prof. mr. dr. A.J. (Albert) Verheij, G.P. (Jeanne) Mifsud Bonnici, Prof
Where:Academy building RUG
Legal Aspects of Automated Driving

Across the globe, tests of automated (or self-driving, driverless) vehicles are taking place on public roads. Before these vehicles can be deployed (post-testing) on a large scale, several legal questions need to be answered. Do the current traffic rules apply to automated vehicles? Who is liable for damage caused by the automated vehicle? These and other legal questions are discussed in this research. Several legal instruments are studied, more specifically the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic, the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, the EU Product Liability Directive, and relevant Dutch legislation. The research also includes comparative legal research. This study shows that the discussed legislation currently does not accommodate a driverless future, as it does not, on specific points, provide for automated driving. In addition, this research brings to light the increased importance of the (type) approval in tort law brought about by the development of automated vehicles. Furthermore, proposals for the revision of this legislation are made, so as to accommodate a future of automated driving.