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Title: The readiness of the Maltese legal system at addressing the ethical and legal implications of selfdriving vehicles
Authors: Masini, Joseph
Keywords: Autonomous vehicles -- Malta
Autonomous vehicles -- European Union countries
Automobile driving -- Malta
Automobile driving -- European Union countries
Issue Date: 2017
Abstract: The introduction of automation in vehicular technology throughout the past two decades started holding even greater resonance on the notion of driving. As levels of automation extended to cover what many might consider vital components of the driving experience the legal challenges only grew further. Today, highly and fully autonomous vehicles are moving from laboratorycontrolled environments to public roads. These concepts not only minimise, but at some stages even eliminate completely the need for a human being behind the wheel from the driving equation. The Maltese legal framework, much like its international counterparts, relies to a considerable extent on the premise that a vehicle is to be controlled by a human being at all times. Judicial interpretation by local courts throughout the years has developed to a large extent in support of a rigorous standard against which a driver’s liability is determined. It is therefore not difficult to ascertain that a vehicular concept in which all humans on board are freed from the need to maintain such control would not only be a challenge, but a direct affront to established practice. This term paper seeks to reach a broad understanding as to how the Maltese legal system fares in comparison to other European and global jurisdictions with respect to ensuring its fitness for the challenges posed by the advent of driverless vehicular technology. In a field where ethical and legal implications are aplenty, the domestic legal regime, though resilient in certain aspects such as licensing and ensuring safety standards, lacks the flexibility in other aspects, especially with respect to the determination of liability. Consequently, direct legislative intervention might be the soundest way forward so as to avoid inconsistency and ensure that key ethical and legal issues are properly addressed.
Description: LL.B
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacLaw - 2017
Dissertations - FacLawMCT - 2017

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