Started Jul 10, 2020 05:00PM UTC   •   Closing Dec 31, 2020 10:59PM UTC

The Mack Institute asks:

Between 10 July and 31 December 2020, will a firm or paid backup driver operating a self-driving vehicle face criminal charges in relation to an accident involving a self-driving vehicle in the U.S.?

Legal liability for accidents involving self-driving vehicles and features allowing autonomous driving continue to evolve (Ars Technica, ABC News, NY Times, Centre for International Governance Innovation). The charges for a firm or backup driver are not required to be related to the same accident for resolving this question.

This question is the shorter-term companion of question #1696. The questions are substantively the same, save for the relevant time period. While they are companions, they are independent questions and the resolution of one will not necessarily impact the other.

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NOTE 12 November 2020: For the purposes of this question, to "face criminal charges" is to be criminally charged, irrespective of any future scheduled trial.


Name Probability
Yes, a firm 0%
Yes, a paid backup driver 5%
Yes, both 0%
No 95%

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