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Who’s Liable for George Hotz’s Self-Driving Software?

EFF IN THE NEWS

Who’s Liable for George Hotz’s Self-Driving Software?

You could download Comma.ai’s new open-source Python code from Github, grab the necessary hardware, and follow the company’s instructions to add semi-autonomous capabilities to specific Acura and Honda model cars (with more vehicles to follow). Comma.ai’s CEO George Hotz told IEEE Spectrum last week that Comma.ai’s code has safety features, but what would happen if there’s a bug and your car crashes into a building, another car, or a pedestrian? Self-driving-cars are notoriously difficult to test for safety. Kit Walsh, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, writes in an email that “code is like a set of instructions, and publishing instructions generally cannot be punished consistent with the First Amendment—even if those instructions involve something dangerous like making a weapon or to try to eat a spoonful of cinnamon that will probably wind up in your lungs.”

Wednesday, December 14, 2016
IEEE Spectrum
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