Driving inevitably entails a degree of risk; autonomous driving will not change that. If the new technology is to be accepted by society anyway, the systems will have to be more secure than human drivers – as demanded by the Ethics Commission on Automated Driving.
But it doesn't end there. As long as accidents occur, there must be a clear system to define how and by whom accident victims are compensated. Cars are evolving within ever shorter cycles. Mechanics have long since stopped being the linchpin. Several kilometres of cable now connect a vehicle’s most disparate systems in real time and they will soon do the same for its surroundings. How can we ensure a secure transition to autonomous driving, which ethical issues do we need to resolve, what data will tomorrow's cars gather and how can drivers benefit from that?
Assistance systems, autonomous driving functions and alternative drive and mobility concepts are revolutionising the nature of motorised transport – all these developments are also raising issues around losses and liability. Responsibility for an autonomous car may be divisible, but personal safety is not.