Robotrecht

Robot law, a research center at the University of Würzburg’s law school.

Jurists there are discussing the laws that will be needed for driverless cars, among other things.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung said car manufacturers have come up with a plan to move us to fully automated driving:

“Step 0: Manual driving.”

“1. Assisted driving with distance measurement, parking aids, lane tracking systems.”

“2. Partially automated driving: Drivers will no longer have to steer in certain situations, such as on the Autobahn, but they will remain vigilent.”

“3. Highly automated driving: The vehicle will find its way alone, but a person will still sit behind the steering wheel.”

“4. Fully automated driving: For certain applications such as parking and rearranging cars in parking garages, a driver is no longer necessary.”

“5. Driverless driving: Human drivers will no longer sit behind the wheel in these ‘robot taxis.'”

German car manufacturers are currently working on fusioning all the aids and assists that are on the market now. We’ll be between steps 2 and 3 for about the next five years, an industry representative said.

The head of the robot law working group at Würzburg said if driverless cars are given the status of e.g. an “ePerson,” they can be criminally prosecuted after an injury occurs. This would limit the liability of the auto manufacturers.

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Autonome Tötungsroboter

Autonomous killer robots.

A Süddeutsche.de article said for years now billions have invested annually in research and development of these types of weapons by the U.S.A., United Kingdom, Israel and soon China as well. The U.S. Navy for example is working on unmanned killer submarines. The U.S. Air Force notoriously has its drones. Companies like iRobot Corp. have been delivering land-based battle robots for years, on wheels, caterpillar treads, four legs and they’re working on bipedal. Post-mounted or mobile Samsung sentries (“SGR-1”) have been erected along the North Korean border that can now be set to automatically shoot anything detectable by motion, heat or, presumably, video-analyzing software.

Opponents of the technology say it’s only a question of time until remotely operated killing machines become autonomous decision-makers. The time for people to decide on an international framework for these types of weapons is now, said a United Nations expert on extralegal killing.

Sweden, wrote Süddeutsche.de, has called for an international test ban [Testverbot] on L.A.R.’s, lethal autonomous robots, asking each country’s government to announce a national moratorium on them and to unilaterally decline to manufacture and test autonomous killer robots.

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