Bryant Walker Smith is an assistant professor in the School of Law and (by courtesy) in the School of Engineering at the University of South Carolina. He is also an affiliate scholar at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School, chair of the Emerging Technology Law Committee of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, and a member of the New York Bar.
Bryant's research focuses on risk (particularly tort law and product liability), technology (automation and connectivity), and mobility (safety and regulation). As an internationally recognized expert on the law of self-driving vehicles, Bryant taught the first-ever course on this topic and is regularly consulted by government, industry, and media. His recent article, Proximity-Driven Liability, argues that commercial sellers' growing information about, access to, and control over their products, product users, and product uses could significantly expand their point-of-sale and post-sale obligations toward people endangered by those products.
Before joining the University of South Carolina, Bryant led the legal aspects of automated driving program at Stanford University, clerked for the Hon. Evan J. Wallach at the United States Court of International Trade, and worked as a fellow at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. He holds both an LL.M. in International Legal Studies and a J.D. (cum laude) from New York University School of Law and a B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin. Prior to his legal career, Bryant worked as a transportation engineer.
Law of the Newly Possible: http://newlypossible.org
There's recently been some great reporting and advocacy regarding the legal status of the software running modern motor vehicles. Here are a few academic perspectives (courtesy mostly of Facebook): Read more » about Academic Perspectives on Automotive Software Licensing
One of my courses this semester is Technology Law: Law of the Newly Possible. This seminar, at the University of South Carolina School of Law, examines how law responds to, incorporates, and affects innovation. Read more » about Seminar on the Law of the Newly Possible
Thank you for reading my posts this week. If you happen to be Eugene Volokh or Ken Anderson, thank you in particular for making them possible. And if you were one of my thoughtful commenters, thank you for questioning and challenging; I have read your remarks with great interest. Read more » about Looking at My Vehicle Automation Entries in the Rear-View Mirror
Since the 1950s, the Long Beach Freeway has linked the massive Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to, roughly, the rest of the continental United States. Because much has changed in trade and traffic since then, California’s relevant transportation authorities have decided that perhaps this freeway should change as well. Read more » about The Impact of Automation on Environmental Impact Statements
""Assuming that you are not dead, you are in a much better positon than if you had been hit by an ordinary, human-driven vehicle," said Bryant Walker Smith, a law professor at the University of South Carolina who has studied issues about the cars." Read more » about Self-Driving Cars Can't Avoid Accidents on California Roads
"“It’s a tenuous stretch of that provision to say that it also covers autonomous vehicle reports,” says Bryant Walker-Smith, a lawyer with the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School. “I suspect this is a policy decision made within the DMV or perhaps by others within government that they do not want to expose companies to this kind of public scrutiny, or they want to encourage candor that might otherwise by stymied.”" Read more » about Google’s driverless cars have been involved in three car accidents
"“As automated systems get more complex, human understanding also gets more complex. For a vehicle to suddenly swerve to the right, a human would have to grab [the steering wheel]... training becomes even more important, and it would also be important for general users.”" Read more » about What we know and what we don’t know about accidents involving self-driving cars
"Interest in accidents will remain high, especially if the self-driving car is at fault, said Bryant Walker Smith, a law professor at the University of South Carolina who has written extensively on the technology.
"For a lot of reasons," Smith said, "more might be expected of these test vehicles and of the companies that are deploying them and the drivers that are supervising them than we might expect of a 17-year-old driver in a 10-year-old car."" Read more » about Self-Driving Cars Getting Dinged in California
"Accident reports should be “part of broader communications strategies that both companies and governments should be developing and executing, long before the first tragic crash,” said Bryant Walker Smith, an expert on the legal aspects of autonomous vehicles at the School of Engineering at the University of South Carolina.
“The challenge here is twofold: Don’t let the news of these minor crashes make the public too fearful or too confident,” he added. “Information helps appropriately manage public expectations.”" Read more » about Google Says Driverless Cars Involved in 11 ‘Minor’ Accidents in 6 Years
For more information visit: http://www.umtri.umich.edu/what-were-doing/events/toyota-speaker-series-...
The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and Toyota invite you to attend "Leadership in Transportation: New Perspectives on Safe and Sustainable Transportation," a series of informative and engaging conversations with leaders in transportation. Read more » about A Legal Perspective on Three Misconceptions in Vehicle Automation
For more information and to register to attend please visit: http://www.meetup.com/Silicon-Valley-Autonomous-Vehicle-Enthusiasts/even...
A legal perspective on three (mis)conceptions in vehicle automation, Bryant Walker Smith Read more » about A legal perspective on three (mis)conceptions in vehicle automation
TransOvation is a PDH-granting workshop and program focused on helping transportation design and construction industry professionals (from both the public and private sectors) build innovative thinking into their professional skill set. During this extraordinary, interactive learning event, world-class innovators use real-world examples and technologies to demonstrate approaches that can lead to new markets, increased efficiency, productivity and profit. Read more » about Transovation
"CCTV America’s Michelle Makori interviewed Bryant Walker Smith, assistant professor in the School of Law and School of Engineering at the University of South Carolina, about how self-driving cars can change the way people travel." Read more » about Driverless Cars & Road Rules
“You can look forward to automation as a similar set of local and national tensions and developments and opportunities,” said Bryant Walker Smith. Smith was comparing the early days of broadband and its organic development to what we are seeing with vehicle automation. He brings a unique perspective on this topic, with both a transportation engineering and legal background. Read more at: http://viodi.com/2014/08/15/autonomous-autos-and-the-law/ Read more » about Autonomous Vehicles and the Law
The automobile has proven to be one of the most popular and transformational transport technologies ever. Now, however, slightly more than a century after its invention, there are signs that car use has stabilised or is in decline in many historic markets. Automakers are deploying new technologies they feel meet their customers' requirements but will the industry's historic business model remain relevant for the 21st century? Read more » about Adapting the Vehicle to a New Society: How Will Shifting Attitudes and Vehicle Technology Change the Way We Drive?
View the full video on our YouTube channel.
Lunch Time Discussion with Honorable Rodney Slater on the Opportunities, Challenges and Best Pathways for Successful Transportation Innovation and Policymaking
Bryant Walker Smith, CIS Resident Fellow, moderated this session.