NCHRP Legal Research Digest 69: Once and Future Transportation Innovation: Predicting the Legal Environment for Driverless Vehicles

The legal environment for driverless vehicles will depend in part on the legal responses to earlier transportation innovations, such as steamboats, railroads, automobiles, and airplanes. This article reviews historical state and federal legal responses to early transportation innovations as discussed in National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Legal Research Digest 69, A Look at the Legal Environment for Driverless Vehicles. Topics covered include regulating steamboat boilers, railroad safety and the courts, standardizing motor vehicle safety, and airline safety. These precedents show that as driverless vehicles become more sophisticated and more common, issues will arise that will require innovative and thoughtful responses from policymakers.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Illustrations; Photos; References;
  • Pagination: pp 3-9
  • Serial:
    • TR News
    • Issue Number: 307
    • Publisher: Transportation Research Board
    • ISSN: 0738-6826

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01632637
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Apr 25 2017 2:03PM