The Future Is Almost Here: Inaction Is Actually Mistaken Action
UVA Law Faculty Affiliations
Professor Ryan Calo has written a response to our article appearing in the current issue of the Virginia Law Review, Automated Vehicles and Manufacturer Responsibility for Accidents: A New Legal Regime for a New Era, in which we develop the proposition that the United States is on the verge of a new era in transportation, requiring a new legal regime. As many commentators have noted, over the coming decades, there will be a revolution in driving, as manually-driven cars are replaced by automated vehicles (AVs). There will then be a radically new world of auto accidents: most accidents will be caused by cars, not by drivers.
In a world of accidents dominated by AVs, current tort doctrine, in our view, will be anachronistic and obsolete. We present a proposal for a more effective system, adopting strict manufacturer responsibility for auto accidents. We call this system Manufacturer Enterprise Responsibility, or “MER.” In describing and developing our proposal for MER, we present a detailed, extensively analyzed approach that would promote deterrence and compensation more effectively than continued reliance on tort in the coming world of auto accidents. MER would be a manufacturer financed, strict responsibility bodily injury compensation system, administered by a fund created through assessments levied on AV manufacturers.