This article focuses on the civilian use of unmanned vehicle (UV) technology and its impact on legal systems. By distinguishing a panoply of UV applications such as unmanned aerial vehicles for policing and border security, unmanned water-surface and underwater vehicles for remote exploration works and repair, down to unmanned ground vehicles for urban transport, the aim is to pinpoint new legal cases affecting international humanitarian law, contractual obligations, strict-liability rules, etc. Special attention is paid to new models of limited responsibility and insurance for distributing risk in extra-contractual relations and in connection with tortious claims. All in all, we should strike a fair balance between people’s claim not to be ruined by the civilian use (rather than, say, the production and design) of UV technology, and the interest of UV counter-parties to safely interact with a new generation of autonomous ‘guns,’ ‘smart ships,’ and AI ‘chauffeurs.’
Professo in Philosophy of Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Turin
Law School, University of Torino, via s. Ottavio 54, 10124 Turin, Italy firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2012 Journal of Law, Information & Science and Faculty of Law, University of Tasmania.