Israeli Justice Ministry Lays Out Key Questions on Regulation of Autonomous Vehicles

February 22, 2021Alerts

Israel's Ministry of Justice has issued a call for public comments regarding the regulation of autonomous vehicles, with a focus on the tort and insurance aspects.

Key Points

Background

  • The mobility market is undergoing a revolution, from "mobility as a product" to "mobility as a service," whereby the mobility market is the sum of all tools that transport (passengers or cargo) from point A to point B as efficiently as possible. In this market there will be a separation between the owner of a vehicle and the users of a vehicle.
  • In January 2020 the Israeli Ministry of Transportation introduced bills for the licensing and testing of autonomous vehicles.

Issues to Consider

Data Privacy Issues

How should the collection of data, and sharing it among the manufacturing /operating companies and insurance companies, be regulated?

Other Legal Issues

  • No legal entity: The actions of an autonomous vehicle are controlled by a computer/technology that is not a natural or legal person. As such, the question is who should be liable for damage(torts) or insurance? The user? The one who permits another to use?
  • Difficult allocation of liability: For autonomous cars with a human driver required to intervene in an emergency a new factor is added to the calculation of liability.
  • No causal connection: Autonomous vehicles are a type of AI. As such, they behave in ways that are not the necessary result of preset settings but rather of technological decision making. Therefore, the programmers cannot foresee how the vehicle will operate at any given time and thus there may not be a causal connection between the human programmer and the end result in a way that would impose liability on the programmer.
  • Complex technology: Even if you can show a causal connection, the technology is sometimes too complex to explain/demonstrate the nature of the failure in planning, production or operation in order to demonstrate the causal connection. For example, due to v2v communication, the source of negligence could be external to the vehicle.
  • Complex legal proceedings: Due to a lack of standards, it would be difficult to prove and set the relevant reasonable standard. It would also be difficult to find a legal expert for trial. This would significantly raise the costs of the litigation.
  • Too much information: Due to the large amount of data collected in the car (through different sensors) and the manufacturer's black box, the resulting database will be attractive for bad actors seeking to abuse the information.
  • Uncertainty of the scope of damages: Should the law regard autonomous vehicles in the same way/standard as human driven cars?
  • Liability of passengers/pedestrians: Should the law attribute any liability to passengers or pedestrians in the context of autonomous vehicles?

Odia Kagan is a partner in the firm's Privacy & Data Security Practice and Chair of the GDPR Compliance & International Privacy Practice. For questions about this alert or assistance with issues related to autonomous vehicles, contact Odia at [email protected] or 215.444.7313.