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Briefcase: Self-Driving Car Liability

Guest: David Kwok


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Two modern trends, artificial intelligence and taxi-style "ride-sharing," have tragically converged. A woman was killed by a self-driving car that a ride-sharing service was testing. David Kwok, with The UH Law Center, lectures on white collar crime and discusses who can be held criminally liable for a death caused by a self-driving car.

"Because self-driving cars are still undergoing testing, there are usually human safety drivers on board to take over,” Professor Kwok said. “If safety drivers are reckless in discharging their duties, they could be criminally liable for an accident."

"An executive who doesn't properly manage risk could be subject to criminal prosecution,” he continued. “Criminal charges could await a ride-sharing executive who fails to take reasonable precautions. If a company hires a driver with an extensive record of reckless driving, for example, and that driver kills someone in an accident, the executive might face personal liability."