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Fully autonomous or “self-driving” automobiles are vehicles “which can drive themselves without human supervision or input.” They are likely to become an increasing presence in our physical environment in the 5 – 15 year time frame.
Today people share a physical environment with moving machines that are controlled by other people but have freedom of movement (e.g. automobiles), or that are automated but highly constrained in their range of movement (e.g. elevators). The movements of these machines tend to be broadly predictable. With autonomous vehicles, for the first time, people will be sharing a physical environment with computer-controlled moving machines that can direct their own activities and also have considerable freedom of movement.
How predictable will the movements of autonomous vehicles be to the ordinary people – the pedestrians, drivers, and cyclists — who encounter them on roads, at intersections, and in crosswalks – and to what extent should the law be involved in fostering design to make them more predictable?
Associate Professor of Law, University of Colorado Law School
Harry Surden is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Colorado Law School. He joined the faculty in 2008. His scholarship centers upon intellectual property law with a substantive focus on patents and copyright, information privacy law, legal informatics and legal automation, and the application of computer technology within the legal system.
Prior to joining CU, Professor Surden was a resident fellow at the Stanford Center for Legal Informatics (CodeX) at Stanford Law School. In that capacity, Professor Surden conducted interdisciplinary research with collaborators from the Stanford School of Engineering exploring the application of computer technology towards improving the legal system. He was also a member of the Stanford Intellectual Property Litigation Clearinghouse and the director of the Computer Science and Law Initiative.
Professor Surden was law clerk to the Honorable Martin J. Jenkins of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco. He received his law degree from Stanford Law School with honors and was the recipient of the Stanford Law Intellectual Property Writing Award.
Professor Surden is an Affiliated Faculty Member at The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics (CodeX).