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, an adjunct clinical professor at the University of Michigan Law School, a member of the US Department of Transportation's Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation, the chair of the Emerging Technology Law Committee of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the reporter to the Uniform Law Commission's Drafting Committee on Highly Automated Vehicles, the chair of the Planning Task Force for the On-Road Automated Vehicle Standards Committee of the Society of Automotive and Aerospace Engineers, a faculty affiliate of the Rule of Law Collaborative, and a member of the New York Bar.
Bryant's research focuses on issues of risk and trust in new technologies, especially automated driving systems, unmanned aerial systems, and other transportation technologies. As an internationally recognized expert on the law of driverless vehicles, Bryant taught the first-ever course on this topic (as well as the first course on hyperloops) and is regularly consulted by government, industry, and media. His publications are available at newlypossible.org
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.
Six state representatives in Hawaii have introduced a bill (HB 2238) that would direct that state's "director of transportation, in consultation with the insurance commissioner and the examiner of drivers of each county," to "adopt rules in accordance with chapter 91 providing for the operation of autonomous motor vehicles on highways within the State." This follows developments in Nevada and Florida.
Nevada's Department of Motor Vehicles has continued its rulemaking process for autonomous vehicles by announcing a public hearing on its draft regulations. [Update: The final regulation is available in the Nevada Register. I have offline copies of the drafts.]
Meanwhile, a member of Florida's House has introduced a bill (HB 1207) that would (1) explicitly permit the operation, under certain circumstances, of "[v]ehicles equipped with autonomous technology ... for the purpose of testing the technology" and (2) direct that state's Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to "prepare a report relating to the safe operation of vehicles equipped with autonomous technology on public roads," including "recommended legislative action and proposed department rules." A state Senator has introduced a parallel bill (SB 1768) that would require only "a report relating to the safe operation of vehicles equipped with autonomous technology on public roads."
In June, CIS reported Nevada's enactment of AB 511, which directs the state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to "adopt regulations authorizing the operation of autonomous vehicles on highways within the State of Nevada." Pursuant to this mandate, the DMV has now issued draft regulations. After holding a series of public workshops and hearings (not yet posted) and submitting its proposed regulations for legislative review in accordance with the Nevada Administrative Procedure Act, the DMV could issue final regulations as early as March 2012. [Update: The final regulation is available in the Nevada Register. I have offline copies of the drafts.]
This Article focuses on one cyberphysical domain — automated driving — to methodically analyze the so-called liability problem. It considers how automated driving could affect product liability, how product liability could affect automated driving, and how each could advance or impede the prevention of injury and the compensation of victims.
Download the paper from SSRN.
How Governments Can Promote Automated Driving recommended that governments conduct “legal audits” to “identify and analyze every statute and regulation that could apply adversely or ambiguously to automated driving.” Automated Vehicles Are Probably Legal in the United States attempted this nationwi
At the outset, it's not clear to me what Silicon Valley is and isn't — or why that matters. Companies like Google are often contrasted with companies like General Motors, and yet, according to an automotive industry group, automakers spend over $100 billion every year on research and development worldwide. R&D is a form of tech innovation. Energy companies, pharmaceutical firms and financial institutions are also technological powerhouses. Innovation is central to telecommunications, defense and health care.
With the recent announcement, the US Department of Transportation is enthusiastically embracing automated driving. It’s saying that self-driving vehicles are coming in some form (or many forms) and that the agency can play a role not only in supervising but also in assisting this transportation transformation. The DOT is recognizing the wide range of relevant technologies, applications, and business models and is striving to address them more quickly and flexibly through its wide range of prospective and retrospective regulatory tools.
"The report raised an issue for Tesla vehicles with Autopilot, as well as other vehicles with adaptive cruise control, said Bryant Walker Smith, an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law. “Stationary objects are also a challenge for many adaptive cruise control systems and automated emergency braking systems,” he said."
"The observations from Smith, who holds dual degrees in law and engineering, were particularly insightful. He started by challenging widely held perceptions about the law. Many media articles mention states or cities that have passed a law authorizing autonomous vehicles, or something of the like, as if permission is needed. “We shouldn’t assume that we need a law to do something.” Smith pointed out that many of the early tests in California were before the state passed an explicit law.
"But while Peduto may not have direct legal authority over Uber's testing activities, the Pittsburgh mayor has plenty of ways to make Uber's life difficult, says legal scholar Bryant Walker Smith.
"“The transportation network company experience has shaped everyone’s view of how to approach these things,” says Bryant Walker Smith, a lawyer who studies driverless vehicle regulations at the University of South Carolina School of Law. That was the classic horse-is-gone, close-the-barn-door maneuver, and this is an opportunity to start afresh. “If you’re going to open the barn door, make sure the horse is still in there and then open it a bit at a time.”"
""That seems like a serious design omission," Bryant Walker Smith, a professor at the University of South Carolina’s School of Law, who studies autonomous vehicle regulations. "I can understand disabling Volvo’s systems, but it sounds like a lot of tasks were placed on a single safety driver."
Attendees will hear leading speakers, participate in interactive breakout sessions, and network with key innovators in this exciting field. Don't miss what's in store for the Automated Vehicles Symposium 2016.
Affiliate Scholars Bryant Walker Smith and Patrick Lin are confirmed speakers.
For more information, visit the conference website.
The University of Washington School of Law is delighted to announce a public workshop on the law and policy of artificial intelligence, co-hosted by the White House and UW’s Tech Policy Lab. The event places leading artificial intelligence experts from academia and industry in conversation with government officials interested in developing a wise and effective policy framework for this increasingly important technology. The event is free and open to the public but requires registration. -
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.
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.
The ABA Annual Conference may not have been a lot of fun for, say, an institution on the cusp of a DOE smackdown, but as a member of the press — marked with a bright yellow badge in case (and the “yellow journalism” epithet did not go unnoticed) — it’s a pretty good time. With my friends from the LegalTalk Network, producers of Thinking Like A Lawyer, I had the opportunity to chat with experts as they finished their panel discussions.
The University of Washington School of Law is delighted to announce a public workshop on the law and policy of artificial intelligence, co-hosted by the White House and UW’s Tech Policy Lab. The event places leading artificial intelligence experts from academia and industry in conversation with government officials interested in developing a wise and effective policy framework for this increasingly important technology.
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.
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.