When Autonomous Vehicles Are Hacked, Who Is Liable?



Recommendation numbered, Nº: 18042020p1

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Who might face civil liability if autonomous vehicles (AVs) are hacked to steal data or inflict mayhem, injuries, and damage? How will the civil justice and insurance systems adjust to handle such claims? RAND researchers addressed these questions to help those in the automotive, technology, legal, and insurance industries prepare for the shifting roles and responsibilities that the era of AVs may bring. Using four scenarios (a ransomware attack, a hacked vehicle damaging government property, hacks on a connected roadway that cause damage, and theft of information through hacking of AVs), the authors explored the civil legal theories that may come into play when real-world damages result from AVs being hacked. They also examined how those theories may affect various parties, including car manufacturers, component makers, dealers, and both corporate and individual owners. Existing civil legal structures appear flexible enough to adapt to cases involving hacked AVs except in the case of large-scale cyberattacks, but it may be useful to clarify both liability and insurance coverages. (Source rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2654.html)


  • Preface
  • Figures and Tables
  • Summary
  • Acknowledgments
  • Abbreviations
  • Introduction—Understanding the Context
  • Autonomous Vehicles and Future Roadways
  • What Is an Autonomous Vehicle, and How Does It Work?
  • The Ecosystem of Autonomous Vehicles
  • How Can Hackers Exploit Autonomous Vehicles?
  • Hacking the Autonomous Vehicle by Exploiting Software
  • Vulnerabilities
  • Physically Hacking the Autonomous Vehicle by Plugging in a
  • Malicious Device
  • Hacking the Components of the Autonomous Vehicle Ecosystem
  • What Types of Attacks Are Plausible?
  • Effects of Various Hacks
  • Hacked Autonomous Vehicles and the Harms They Can Cause
  • Examples of Vehicles Causing Damage
  • Potential Hackers and Their Motivations
  • Targets That Are Vulnerable to Hacked Autonomous Vehicles
  • What Types of Harm Can Hacked Autonomous Vehicles Cause?
  • Conclusions
  • Shifting Roles and Responsibilities for Information Assurance for
  • Autonomous Vehicle Cybersecurity
  • Parties Responsible for Automotive Cybersecurity
  • Phase-by-Phase Analysis of Shifts in Roles and Responsibilities
  • Societal Perceptions and Responses to Emerging Autonomous Vehicle
  • Trends
  • Future Considerations for Autonomous Vehicle Stakeholders
  • Civil Liability and Cyberattacks: General Legal Framework
  • Civil Liability for the Criminal Actions of Another Party
  • The Economic Loss Rule
  • Potential Defendants
  • Acceptance of Liability by Autonomous Vehicle Manufacturers
  • Federal and State Laws and Best Practices Relating to Autonomous
  • Vehicles
  • Liability for Software Flaws
  • Civil Liability Theories
  • Damages Available Under Tort Theories
  • Summarizing Liability Theories in the Context of Hacked
  • Autonomous Vehicles
  • Legal Analysis of Hypothetical Risk Scenarios
  • Scenario 1: Ransomware
  • Scenario 2: Military Base Damage
  • Scenario 3: Hacking of Infrastructure
  • Scenario 4: Theft of Corporate Information
  • Scenario Takeaways
  • Conclusions
  • A. Cyber Exploits Against Autonomous Vehicles
  • B. The Phases of the National Institute of Standards and
  • Technology Cyber-Physical System Draft Framework


Zev Winkelman, Maya Buenaventura, James M. Anderson, Nahom M. Beyene, Pavan Katkar, Gregory Cyril Baumann

Please, thank the authors and Publisher

Thank you very much for this work to @RANDCorporation and #authors, via @States_AI_IA #AutonomousVehicles #Hacked #Liable #openscience #openaccess #ai #artificialintelligence #ia #thebibleai #ebook #research

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