Prospects of Legal Regulating Use of Driverless Transportation Vehicles in the Russian Federation

Keywords: theory of law, information law, artificial intelligence, robotics, driverless vehicles, robotic vehicles, digitalization, experimental legal regimes, regulatory sandbox, information security


The article reviews the new Russian legislation introducing the experimental legal regime for the use of highly automated transportation vehicles (HATVs) (driverless vehicles) on public roads. The article analyzes strategic planning documents related to the subject, such as the governmental Traffic Safety Concept for Public Roads with Driverless Transportation Vehicles (DTVs) and the European Union’s documents regulating the use of robots and artificial intelligence (AI). Drafts of the relevant laws presently at the stage of public debate or discussion at the Duma are reviewed. The Russian experience of legal regulation is compared to the international experience, with conclusions made about possible directions for the development of the legislation. The article broaches the issues of apportioning tort and administrative
liability for damage caused by the use of HATVs or as a result of a breach of the road rules by such vehicles. The obvious hurdles in the way of imposing liability on a robot or an AI algorithm underscore the need to hold on to the classic tort liability model adjudicating claims of damage caused by hazardous objects and modify this model to make is usable for situations when damage is caused by a DTV. In a separate section, this article addresses issues related to the use of delivery robots — the objects do not fit the definition of transportation vehicles provided in the road rules and in the drafts of legal acts currently being prepared. The conclusion is made that judicial opinions should provide clarifications for accidents involving such vehicles because, moving along sidewalks and crossing traffic areas, they are actually road
users. As for risks for personal rights and freedoms associated with the use of DTVs, this writer focuses on risks related to the collection and use of passengers’ personal data, as well as risks of mass layoffs arising from the probable decline in demand for taxi and truck drivers and street traffic controllers. Relying on the results of the analysis, this author suggests how to proceed with the legal regulation of the use of HATVs and reflects on legal and socio-economic implications of their large-scale use in Russia.


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Author Biography

Alexei Deineko, National Research University Higher School of Economics
Candidate of Sciences (Law), Professor, Associate Member of the UNESCO Chair on Copyright, Related, Cultural and Information Rights, State Councellor of the Russian Federation, 2nd class.


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How to Cite
DeinekoA. (2021). Prospects of Legal Regulating Use of Driverless Transportation Vehicles in the Russian Federation. Legal Issues in the Digital Age, 2(3), 33-57.