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‘Autonomous’ vehicles: towards regulation in line with Council of Europe standards

“The criminal law, civil law and human rights implications of the development and introduction of autonomous vehicles must be regulated in accordance with Council of Europe standards,” according to PACE’s Standing Committee.

In a resolution based on a report by Ziya Altunyaldiz (Turkey, NR), the committee points out that the circulation of semi-autonomous or autonomous vehicles may create a “responsibility gap”, where the human in the vehicle cannot be held liable for criminal acts. New approaches to apportioning criminal liability or alternatives to criminal liability are therefore needed, the committee says.

As automated driving systems depend on sensitive personal data (for example on an individual's movements), the committee recommends striking a correct balance between data processing that is necessary for the safe operation of autonomous vehicles, and respect for and protection of the privacy of drivers and passengers. The ethical and regulatory standards applicable to artificial intelligence in general should also be applied to its use in autonomous vehicles, it adds.

Finally, the bodies responsible for regulating autonomous vehicles should pay particular attention to the application of artificial intelligence to automated driving systems and assess the impact of autonomous vehicle technology on human rights.