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Law of the Newly Possible (including Legal and Policy Aspects of Automated Driving)

Selected works by Bryant Walker Smith

Course Materials

  1. Seminar on the Law of the Newly Possible
  2. Seminar on the Legal Aspects of Vehicle Automation (PDF)

Scholarly Articles

  1. Regulation and the Risk of Inaction (book chapter), in Autonomes Fahren (2015), available at
  2. Lawyers and Engineers Should Speak the Same Robot Language (book chapter), in Robot Law (forthcoming 2015), contact author for copy -- see also this draft or this poster
  3. Proximity-Driven Liability, 102 Georgetown L.J. 1777 (2014),
  4. A Legal Perspective on Three Misconceptions in Vehicle Automation (book chapter), in Lecture Notes in Mobility: Road Vehicle Automation (2014),
  5. Automated Vehicles Are Probably Legal in the United States, 1 Tex. A&M L. Rev. 411 (2014) (originally published as white paper in 2012),
  6. Managing Autonomous Transportation Demand, 52 Santa Clara L. Rev. 1401 (2012), excerpted as Tomorrow’s World, Traffic Tech. Int’l, April-May 2013, at 4-10,

Joint Articles

  1. Bryant Walker Smith and Joakim Svensson (principal contributing authors), Automated and Autonomous Driving: Regulation under Uncertainty, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), May 2015,
  2. Tom Michael Gasser, Andre Seeck, and Bryant Walker Smith, Rahmenbedingungen für die Fahrerassistenzentwicklung (book chapter), in Handbuch Fahrerassistenzsysteme 3. Auflage (2014),
  3. Steven Shladover, Jane Lappin, Bob Denaro, and Bryant Walker Smith, Introduction: The Transportation Research Board’s 2013 Workshop on Road Vehicle Automation (book chapter), in Lecture Notes in Mobility: Road Vehicle Automation (2014),
  4. Bob Denaro, Johanna Zmud, Steven Shladover, Bryant Walker Smith, and Jane Lappin, Automated Vehicle Technology: Ten Research Areas to Follow in 2014, TR News, issue 292 (May-June 2014),
  5. Bryant Walker Smith and Tom Michael Gasser, Automated Vehicles: Language, Legality, and Liability, Thinking Highways, October 2012

Other Articles

  1. Bryant Walker Smith on the Future of Self-Driving Cars, Popular Science, June 2015,
  2. Who Is the Driver?, New Scientist, December 22, 2012, syndicated as How Do You Ticket a Driverless Car?, Slate, December 30, 2012,

Key Reference Documents

  1. Automated Driving: Legislative and Regulatory Action,
  2. SAE Levels of Driving Automation,

Selected Blog Posts

  1. New Years Resolutions for Developers of Automated Vehicles,
  2. Tesla and Liability,
  3. Automated Vehicle Crashes,
  4. Slow Down That Runaway Ethical Trolley,
  5. New Book: Road Vehicle Automation,
  6. Something Interesting in California's New Automated Vehicle Testing Rule,
  7. Human Error as a Cause of Vehicle Crashes,
  8. Uncertain Liability,
  9. Looking at My Vehicle Automation Entries in the Rear-View Mirror,
  10. Planning for the Obsolescence of Technologies Not Yet Invented,
  11. The Reasonable Self-Driving Car,
  12. The Impact of Automation on Environmental Impact Statements,
  13. Driverless Carts Are Coming Sooner Than Driverless Cars,
  14. Automated Vehicles Are Probably Legal in the United States,
  15. A Self-Driving Crash Test,
  16. Stanford Students: Fall 2012 Course on the Law of Autonomous Driving,
  17. Planning for Autonomous Driving,
  18. On Blind Drivers and Base Maps,
  19. Driving at Perfection,
  20. My Other Car Is a … Robot? Defining Vehicle Automation,
  21. Backseat Driving,


  1. How Governments Can Encourage Automated Driving (2015)
  2. Lawyers and Engineers Can Speak the Same Robot Language (2014)
  3. Law of the Newly Possible (2014)
  4. Automated Vehicles Are Probably Legal in the United States (2013)
  5. Legal Aspects of Automated Driving (2013)

Selected Slides

  1. Regulating Automated Driving (2015)
  2. Automated Vehicle Liability (2015)
  3. Ethical Issues in Automated Driving (2015)

Other Materials

  1. How an (Autonomous Driving) Bill Becomes Law: An Oral History of Nevada's Groundbreaking Regulation of Self-Driving Vehicles, November 8, 2012,
  2. Additional video is available under the multimedia tab here