Autonomous Vehicles to Become a Reality, the Legislation is not There Yet

Bratislava, 16 June 2022: Cars equipped with technologies that steer, accelerate and brake instead of the driver are slowly but surely becoming a reality. You can already encounter them on public roads. However, the legislation governing the use of autonomous vehicles is still incomplete. Who will be held responsible in the event of a fatal accident if the car was driven by the system instead of a human driver? Jozef Andraško, lawyer and cyber security expert from Comenius University Bratislava, studies this type of legal issues.

20. 06. 2022 08.51 hod.
By: CU External Relations Office

Very little to no attention is being paid in Slovakia to the legal aspects of autonomous vehicle use. This, however, may change in the near future as vehicles driven by artificial intelligence become more commonplace.

"The introduction of autonomous vehicles cannot be studied separately from their technical aspects," clarifies Jozef Andraško from the Faculty of Law of Comenius University. That is the reason why lawyers joined forces with IT and mechanical engineering specialists from the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, in one of the research projects.

As of now, the Slovak legislation still fails to give answers to a number of practical questions. For instance, is it still possible to speak of a ‘driver’ in the traditional sense? Will the ‘driver’ of an autonomous vehicle be required to hold a driver’s license? How to regulate access to the data generated by autonomous vehicles? Legal scientists have therefore studied the current regulation in administrative law, criminal law, cyber security and personal data protection.

Their goal is to write a White Paper on the regulation of autonomous vehicles in the European Union and the Slovak Republic, aiming to improve the future legislation governing the introduction of autonomous vehicles into practice. The paper could be useful for the Ministry of Transport and Construction of the Slovak Republic. "We cannot predict whether our analysis will actually be used by lawmakers, but our work will significantly expand the research into the legal aspects of autonomous vehicle introduction in Slovakia. It will also serve as the basis for future research in this area, " added Jozef Andraško, a lawyer from Comenius University.

"It's only a matter of time before autonomous vehicles become a regular part of road traffic. I am convinced that the research of our lawyers and other experts will contribute to the process of gradual introduction of autonomous vehicles in Slovakia," says the Rector of Comenius University Marek Števček.