In the U.S., a self-driving car operated by Uber struck and fatally injured a female pedestrian in March 2018. This case raises questions about liability in the event of accidents. Switzerland is positioning itself as a pioneer in the development of automated driving: namely in Sion, Fribourg, Zug and Geneva, corresponding trials are being carried out. Therefore, a quick adaptation of the legislation in Switzerland is of key importance in order to promote the development of these technologies and to consolidate Switzerland’s position in this field. A motion to abolish the legal hurdles was adopted by the National Council.
In view of the rapid development of automated driving, all legal issues must be clarified as quickly as possible. I therefore pose the following questions:
1. according to the Federal Council, when will Swiss legislation on automated vehicles be adapted? Is there an action plan or a timetable?
2. what is the current situation regarding liability in the event of accidents?
3. is there a political will to promote the introduction of automated vehicles in Switzerland?
4. would new legal provisions be conceivable that regulate the question of liability for these vehicles in the test phases?
Statement of the Federal Council of 15.8.2018
1. within the framework of the The revision of the Road Traffic Act currently in preparation (SVG revision) is intended to ensure that it is possible to react to international developments in connection with automated vehicles in a timely manner. The consultation on the SVG revision is expected to be opened in the spring of next year.
2./4.As stated in the report of the Federal Council in response to the postulate Leutenegger Oberhozer 14.4169 As explained above, compulsory insurance and owner’s liability ensure that injured parties are indemnified by the insurance company in the event of an accident. The owner’s liability also guarantees insurance coverage for pilot projects (direct right of claim of the injured parties). Therefore, there are no legal foundations specifically designed for this purpose.
3. yes. For example, the resolution adopted by Parliament calls for Motion 17.3049 “Digitization. Paving the way for automated and self-driving vehicles” provides the necessary legal basis for making the necessary regulatory adjustments in line with technical developments and in step with the international legal framework.