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Lunch Timer with Raúl Rojas and Bryant Walker Smith – Can You Ticket a Computer?: Law and Policy Issues for Driverless Cars

Monday, April 20, 2015
12:15 pm


Robertson Hall, Bowl 001

Food and discussion begin at 12:15 pm. Open to current Princeton faculty, fellows and students only. RSVP required. Co-sponsored with WWS and LAPA.

This talk is the third and final in our “Can Law Keep Up with New Technology?” series of lunch timers. Each program explores the current state of an emerging technology and the legal and ethical considerations that stem from it. In this session, Raúl Rojas and Bryant Walker Smith will discuss driverless cars, exploring the path for incorporating these technologies into our infrastructure, society, and legal system.


Raúl Rojas is a Visiting Fellow at CITP. He is a Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany. He has been developing intelligent systems since 1986. His team of soccer robots won the World Championship in 2004 and 2005. In 2006, Prof. Rojas’ team started instrumenting autonomous cars. His vehicles have been licensed for city traffic and have been driving in Berlin’s streets since 2012. Prof. Rojas is a Member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences and is the recipeint of Berlin’s Technology Prize for 2008.

Bryant Walker Smith is an assistant professor in the School of Law and (by courtesy) in the School of Engineering at the University of South Carolina. He is also an affiliate scholar at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School, chair of the Emerging Technology Law Committee of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, and a member of the New York Bar.

Bryant’s research focuses on risk (particularly tort law and product liability), technology (automation and connectivity), and mobility (safety and regulation). As an internationally recognized expert on the law of self-driving vehicles, Bryant taught the first-ever course on this topic and is regularly consulted by government, industry, and media. His recent paper, Proximity-Driven Liability, argues that commercial sellers’ growing information about, access to, and control over their products, product users, and product uses could significantly expand their point-of-sale and post-sale obligations toward people endangered by those products.

Before joining the University of South Carolina, Bryant led the legal aspects of automated driving program at Stanford University, clerked for the Hon. Evan J. Wallach at the United States Court of International Trade, and worked as a fellow at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. He holds both an LL.M. in International Legal Studies and a J.D. (cum laude) from New York University School of Law and a B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin. Prior to his legal career, Bryant worked as a transportation engineer.