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A Car in Court

Legal researcher Moritz Hennemann examines the role autonomous systems could play in future legislation

Freiburg, Mar 03, 2020

Autonomous systems – be they self-driving cars or lawnmowers that can cut the grass by themselves – are now supporting humans as they do many daily tasks. This is, however, posing new problems and unanswered questions, in law, for example. Dr. Moritz Hennemann of the University of Freiburg’s Institute of Media and Information Law (IMI) is investigating whether current legal regulations are suitable for digital developments or if new laws are needed. In future, people who have suffered damages in a traffic accident could not only seek legal redress from others involved in the accident, manufacturers, or operators. A court could also find a self-driving car culpable. The “Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft Freiburg” (Scientific Society Freiburg) has awarded Hennemann the ten thousand euro Albert Bürklin Research Prize for his work. The distinction is given for outstanding contributions in the humanities, social sciences, and law.