Students find an unmanned vehicle guilty
25.12.2018

Another trial of a robot - an unmanned vehicle - took place at TSU. Law students decided who should take responsibility in an auto-pedestrian accident. The court ruled that the owner of the drone must compensate the moral damage to the victim.

Today, Russian laws do not contain any precedents involving robots as subjects of legal relations. Therefore, the project of the Institute of Law is helping to form experience in this area and reflect on the creation of judge-made law.

- In the future, it will be possible to get into a car and not drive at all. We endow robots with artificial intelligence, but if they experience some kind of failure, who will respond? If we are preparing for a future where everything will be automated, we must understand how this will be regulated within the framework of the laws. We have launched this project, where, in a game format, we can assume what rights artificial intelligence can be endowed with, - says Alina Shuvalova, the project organizer, manager of Innovation and Technology Business Incubator at TSU.

This time in the courtroom of the Institute of Law, students considered a situation when an unmanned vehicle knocked down a passer-by due to a failure in the system, and the person was injured with moderate health. At the same time, the owner of the car refused to compensate for material and moral damage, as he believed that the accident was the result of a malfunction of technical supply and software and that he should not be responsible for this incident. In turn, the insurance company also refused to pay the victim.


Lawyers determined that the victim crossed the road in accordance with the traffic rules. At the same time, the unmanned vehicle is a vehicle and a source of increased danger, and its owner was obliged to pay damages in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Code. In addition, the refusal of the insurance company to pay was illegal.

As a result, the court ruled that the owner should compensate for the moral damage to the victim, and the insurance company make a payment.

Robot trials are held on a regular basis in the Institute of Law. The organizers intend to continue the project in order to consider various cases and discuss possible options for the development of disputes involving robots endowed with artificial intelligence.

- The Trial of a Robot project has become a regular event. This year has shown that more and more people are showing interest in court hearings on the topic of robotization, - said Konstantin Belyakov, Vice-Rector for Innovation. - Robots live among us, this is not the future, this is already today, and we need to form an appropriate regulatory framework that allows us to include robots as subjects of legal relations. Game situations and simulated cases of the Trial of a Robot just serve as an asset for the formation of such a regulatory framework. So we can hope that Tomsk and Tomsk universities will become a community of specialists who will promote and develop a model of peaceful coexistence of robots and humans.

The Vice-Rector noted that Tomsk as a whole is actively involved in projects related to robotization. So, for example, the team of Tomsk citizens will participate in the competition of the Institute of Technical Sciences Winter City with the project of a self-driving car, which must travel in bad weather conditions while observing all the rules of the road.