A PROPOSED LIABILITY REGIME FOR AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES IN INSTANCES OF PERSONAL LIABILITY AND DEATH
This article aims to determine the most appropriate liability regime for
accidents caused by Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) resulting in personal
injury or death. The motivation for this research lies in the fact that
AVs are currently not adequately regulated within South African
legislation. Seeing as the regulation of AVs should begin sooner rather
than later, it is essential to examine the capability of the Road Accident
Fund (RAF) to provide for AVs and consider other possible liability
regimes. The article will focus on the RAF Act and the possibility of
including the definition of AVs under section 1 thereof. The RAF Act
currently defines a motor car as a motor vehicle designed or adapted
for the conveyance of not more than ten persons, including the driver.
The article will analyse the Civil Aviation Act (Aviation Act) to propose a
regime where the owners of AVs are required to have private insurance.
Section 8(5) of the Aviation Act will form the basis for the proposed
regime change as this section holds that a registered owner or operator
of an aircraft must have insurance as prescribed for any damage or loss
that is caused by an aircraft to any person or property on land or water.