Implementation of Autonomous Vehicles in Society – Liability Allocation in Case of Traffic Accidents

Rawand Sabir & Stine Melsted

Student thesis: Master thesis


Autonomous vehicles are the transportation method of the future, and these vehicles will be introduced on the Danish market as early as 2018. There is, though, a general concern among the population in regard to liability allocation, if the vehicle is involved in an accident. After all, no one wants to be liable for a situation they cannot control or influence. It is therefore necessary to understand how current legislation allocates liability, regarding autonomous vehicles, and how this might be done more efficiently. Since the vehicles are the future, and not yet introduced on the Danish market, no real-time empirical evidence or data is available at this point, as to who should be liable in case of traffic accidents. Legal systems around the world are starting to regulate testing of autonomous vehicles, but so far liability for common use of such vehicles, has yet to be regulated. The aim of this thesis is to go beyond regulation for testing purposes and establish generally who should be liable, when an autonomous vehicle causes a traffic accident, and how liability allocation can affect the implementation of the vehicles into society. As autonomous vehicles are divided into different categories of automation, liability will be established for each category. When determining the liability for each category, it will be taken into consideration how liability, from an economics perspective, should be allocated efficiently, and how the allocation will affect efficient implementation of the vehicles into society. As a result of the analysis this thesis will result in a proposal as to how autonomous vehicles should be regulated in Denmark, a proposal that could be used as inspiration by local regulators

EducationsMSc in Commercial Law, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages254
SupervisorsMarie-Louise Holle