This commentary is restricted to two issues raised in the précis article: (a) what response might the law make to autonomous or semi-autonomous unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) on public roads; and (b) whether the use of unmanned vehicles, and especially the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), will require the laws protecting privacy to be reviewed. A further limit on my commentary is that I can speak with any confidence only on the current law in Australia and New Zealand. I comment on the possible effect of the advent of unmanned vehicles on the law in England, Canada and the United States, but beyond those countries, I regret that my knowledge is insufficient to make any meaningful commentary.
BA LLB (NZ), LLM DipCompLegStud (Camb), Barrister & Solicitor NZ, Vic. & ACT
Professor Jim Davis is Emeritus Professor of the Australian National University. He teaches in the areas of contract, tort and the conflict of laws at a postgraduate level. He was the Legal Adviser to the Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills from 1983 to 2008, and was the Legal Adviser to the Senate Standing Committee for Regulations and Ordinances from 1997 to 2000.
© 2011 Journal of Law, Information & Science and Faculty of Law, University of Tasmania.