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
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
"‘The Vienna Convention is not just a static document ... it exists within international structures for vehicle safety and vehicle regulation,’ said Professor Bryant Walker Smith, a specialist in automated cars at the University of South Carolina, US. ‘As we’re looking for potential best practices, or even standards or eventually requirements, for those vehicles, those existing structures are useful.’ Read more » about EU‐US talks to show the road ahead for automated vehicles
"“The ethics are different for humans and machines,” says Patrick Lin, a philosophy professor at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. “For example, a military robot doesn’t have to shoot back at an enemy because there’s no imperative for self-preservation. If auto manufacturers want to play in this field, they’re going to be responsible for everything that happens on autopilot. Programmers will have to anticipate every problem and code for it. But when you face a true ethical dilemma, there is no consensus on the correct answer.” Read more » about The Hurdles Facing Autonomous Vehicles
"“All the things that we think will happen tomorrow, like fully autonomous cars, may take a very long time,” said Bryant Walker Smith, an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law who studies emerging transportation systems. “But it’s the things we don’t even expect that will happen really fast.”" Read more » about Tipping Point in Transit
""The problem is this 'mushy middle' of automation, where the human is disengaged enough to be really distracted but still have to perform some critical driving role," said Bryant Walker Smith, an assistant professor of law and engineering at the University of South Carolina, whose research focuses on the implications of emerging transportation technology.
"For the first time, in March, an autonomous car drove itself from San Francisco to New York City. How is that even legal? That’s the kind of question Bryant Walker Smith, an assistant professor of law at the University of South Carolina, tries to answer. He’s an expert on the legal implications of self-driving cars. Smith sees a future in which these vehicles all but eliminate crashes, transform liability, and make us look back in horror at the risks we once took on the road. Read more » about Who's Responsible When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?
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.