Who’s to blame when your autonomous car kills someone?

So there you are, cruising along Dubai’s E11 highway in your fully autonomous car – taking part in a Zoom meeting, playing Grand Theft Auto V on your smartphone, or simply snoozing in the passenger seat – when a sickening thump disrupts your reverie.

The brilliant technology to which you have entrusted your life and, by extension, the lives of those around you, has failed to spot a wayward pedestrian chancing his arm, and every other body part, in an ill-advised bid to dash across 12 lanes of traffic.

The car, smart enough at least to sense something is seriously wrong, is already dispatching an incident report, camera footage and its location to the police, even as it triggers its hazard lights and pulls over safely to the side of the road to await the arrival of the emergency services.

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