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“Trust in the machine: the case of Autonomous vehicles”


Lisa Collingwood

Kingston University, GB
About Lisa

Senior Lecturer

Kingston University Law School

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Autonomous vehicles have the potential to contribute a variety of societal benefits. But what constitutes an autonomous vehicle, can these vehicles be trusted, what might the future look like with them on our roads and how have they become so prevalent? In short, what impact will they have and will this always be for the better?

One concern relates to privacy.  This is because it may be asserted that the ability to move about in relative anonymity will be lost in such vehicles, given the myriad of information they will carrying.  This might relate to exactly who is riding, where the passengers were picked up and dropped off, at what time and what route was taken. This information is a legitimate business asset of the companies that own and operate autonomous vehicle fleets, who rely on such data to analyse how many vehicles are needed, in which locations and when they should be charged or re-fuelled, but who will control the usage of this data and what will be the consequences in terms of privacy?

Similarly, whilst one of the major advantages of autonomous driving is that traffic accidents may be virtually eliminated, the fact is that people will die (and already have died) in accidents involving autonomous vehicles.  Therefore, in autonomous driving, a key question is: who will be liable for machine-made decisions?

The paper will consider these topics so as to explore how the privacy and liability landscape may be affected by autonomous vehicles.

Key words : autonomous vehicles, privacy, liability, legal regulation

How to Cite: Collingwood, L., 2018. “Trust in the machine: the case of Autonomous vehicles”. Journal of Information Rights, Policy and Practice, 2(2), p.None. DOI:
Published on 14 Mar 2018.
Peer Reviewed


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