Legal Issues of Driver Assistance Systems and Autonomous Driving

  • Tom Michael Gasser


While legal issues of driver assistance systems appear to be largely solved for systems supporting the driver with information or such that remain easily overrideable/oversteerable, the increase in automation can eventually bring about a paradigmatic change of the “driving task”: Up to date, the driver’s responsibility for the use of systems is maintained, thus remaining within the traditional concept of driving. In future, however, a substantial further increase in automation can lead to a structural shift. The legal issues this change would raise must be identified and handled at an early stage of research to avoid false investment as well as inequitable legal consequences. The legal issues related to driver assistance and autonomous systems are thereby cross-sectional in nature and have a link to the issue of acceptance as far as a basic legal change is intended and necessary.

Cooperative systems, presently under intensive research with their plentiful possibilities and benefits, also give rise to legal uncertainties in several fields (including liability). However, here communication architecture, technical design, as well as potential operators vary tremendously depending on use case and information required for the respective function. This retards a universally valid description of accompanying legal issues. As long as these systems are, however, only meant to take effect by informing the driver on the oncoming traffic situation and dangers without suggesting full reliability (as is presently mostly under research), data privacy should prove to be the only important (but resolvable) issue.


Road Traffic Autonomous System Data Privacy Autonomous Vehicle Driver Conduct 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Albrecht F (2005) Die rechtlichen Rahmenbedingungen bei der Implementierung von Fahrerassistenzsystemen zur Geschwindigkeitsbeeinflussung. Deutsches AutoRecht (DAR), pp 186–198Google Scholar
  2. Burmann M, Heß R, Jahnke J, Janker H (2010) Straßenverkehrsrecht Kommentar. C. H. Beck, München. ISBN 978-3-406-59421-2Google Scholar
  3. Frenz W, Casimir-van den Broek E (2009) Völkerrechtliche Zulässigkeit von Fahrerassistenzsystemen. Neue Zeitschrift für Verkehrsrecht (NZV), pp 529–534Google Scholar
  4. Hentschel P, König P, Dauer P (2011) Straßenverkehrsrecht Kommentar. C. H. Beck, München. ISBN 978-3-406-60991-6Google Scholar
  5. Müller T (2007) Fahrerassistenz auf dem Weg zur automatisierten Fahrzeugführung. Automobiltechnische Zeitschrift (ATZ), pp 58–64Google Scholar
  6. Integrated Project PReVENT, horizontal activity “RESPONSE 3,” updated version 5.0 (2009) Code of practice for the design and evaluation of ADAS. Accessed 12 Feb 2011
  7. United Nations Treaty Collection. ( Status of Convention on Road Traffic.∼B∼19&chapter=11&Temp=mtdsg3&lang=en. Accessed 13 Feb 2011
  8. Weilkes M, Bürkle L, Rentschler T, Scherl M (2005) Zukünftige Fahrzeugführungsassistenz – Kombinierte Längs- und Querregelung. Automatisierungstechnik (at) 53(1):4–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.F4 -Co-operative Traffic and Driver Assistance SystemsFederal Highway Research Institute (BASt)Bergisch GladbachGermany

Personalised recommendations