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
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
Road Vehicle Automation, which was inspired by the Transportation Research Board's eponymous 2013 workshop at Stanford, collects a variety of public, private, and academic perspectives on this nascent transportation revolution. Read more » about New Book: Road Vehicle Automation
After a great deal of careful work, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) today released its final rule for the testing of "autonomous vehicles" on public roads in the state. Accompanying this rule is a Final Statement of Reasons that, on page 9, contains a striking exchange: Read more » about Something Interesting in California's New Automated Vehicle Testing Rule
Some ninety percent of motor vehicle crashes are caused at least in part by human error. This intuitive claim is a fine place to start discussions about the safety potential of vehicle automation. (It is not an appropriate place to end these discussions. Read more » about Human error as a cause of vehicle crashes
This report examines various emerging regulatory issues surrounding the deployment of automated and autonomous vehicles. This work was based on the expert opinion of the authors and serves as a think piece regarding the nature, timing and scope of regulatory action regarding automated and, ultimately, selfdriving vehicles.
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
"University of South Carolina law professor Bryant Walker Smith, who wrote a book-length paper on the legality of autonomous vehicles, calls this the “mushy middle” of autonomy. " Read more » about Human Driver, Taking Over From Computer, Crashes Autonomous Car
"“This is an aggressive and ambitious embrace of automated driving,” says Bryant Walker Smith, an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law and affiliate scholar at the Center for Internet and Society, who studies self-driving vehicles.
"Tesla has willingly stepped into a “mushy middle space,” says Bryant Walker Smith, an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law and affiliate scholar at the Center for Internet and Society, who studies self-driving vehicles. Traditional automakers are far more risk-averse. In the realm of autonomy, they want rules to follow, so they can’t later be attacked for being reckless. They’ll take their time rolling out autonomous technology, disappointing those who can’t wait to hand over the wheel." Read more » about Cadillac’s Delaying Its First Whack at a Self-Driving Car
"Bryant Walker Smith, a professor at the University of South Carolina who closely follows self-driving car developments, said the rate of potential collisions was "not terribly high, but certainly not trivial." He said it remains difficult to gauge how Google's cars compare to accident rates among human drivers, since even the best data underreport minor collisions that are never reported to authorities." Read more » about Google says its futuristic self-driving cars needed some old-fashioned human intervention to avoid 11 crashes during testing on California roads
"Bryant Walker Smith, assistant professor in the School of Law at the University of South Carolina, says the DMV could reasonably ask for more information. “Google could be clearer on how it draws the line between those driver-initiated disengagements that it reports and those that it does not,” he says. “The DMV is entitled to interpret its own rule, and it may have questions on this point.”" Read more » about Google reports self-driving car mistakes: 272 failures and 13 near misses
The Federal Trade Commission held a one-day public workshop on January 19, 2016, 9 am - 5:30 pm, to explore competition and related issues in the context of state regulation of motor vehicle distribution, and to promote more informed analysis of how these regulations affect businesses and consumers. Read more » about Auto Distribution: Current Issues & Future Trends
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
This week, General Motors announced that it would pour $500 million into the ride-sharing service Lyft, with an aim of eventually producing a fleet of self-driving cars. And the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was filled with autonomous vehicle tech tidbits from companies such as Toyota and Nvidia. But what might a future in which all cars can drive themselves do to our cities, towns, and society? Industry observers say that while it’s clear that there will be robotic cars, it’s much less clear how people will choose to use them.
Hear about the current state of the driverless vehicle industry from experts including IEEE Member Jeffrey Miller, IEEE Fellow Wei-Bin Zhang, Bernard Soriano, and Bryant Walker Smith. In addition to present-day commentary, the panelists explored the future of the industry as it relates to technology, policy and ethics. The roundtable discussion, which was broadcast live on August 28, was moderated by Justin Pritchard of the Associated Press. Read more » about IEEE Driverless Car Roundtable
In the second episode of Futuropolis, the podcast that explores what everyday life will be like in the future, we’re tackling your daily commute. Sitting in traffic doesn’t have to be stressful and frustrating. In the future, you may be able to lean back and relax while your car watches the road for you. Read more » about Robot, You Can Drive My Car
Self-driving cars – long the dream of science fiction, are closer to reality than you might think. In fact they’ve already traveled more than one million miles along public highways and bi-ways. Still, there are challenges down the road for the self-driving car, including technical, legal, and psychological, as people take their hands off wheel.
"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