While the driverless car may save lives and reduce insurance costs by eliminating driver error, a new array of concerns arises with this technology, such as navigational errors and hacking, according to an article by Michael Rustad, the Thomas F. Lambert Jr. Professor of Law and co-director of Suffolk Law’s Intellectual Property Law Concentration, and Thomas Koenig, chair of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Northeastern University.

The article, “Driverless car makers should not receive a liability free pass,” published on the American Bar Association’s Before the Bar blog, analyzes liability issues inherent in these vehicles:

“…Commentators contend that we should not stretch products liability rules to driverless cars, as excessive products liability will choke off the potential benefits of this valuable technology. Industry advocates argue that we should instead turn to an alternative compensation system, modeled after the special fund for infants harmed by vaccines.”

Rustad and Koenig argue that “Consumers require strengthened tort remedies in the increasingly interconnected world of the Internet of Things. … Products liability needs to continue evolving to provide consumers with remedies for malfunctioning vehicles and for those with inadequate security or privacy controls.”

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