The School of Law and Social Sciences at Aix-Marseille University Launches a Degree Programme Decicated to Autonomous Vehicle

With the PACTE[1] bill currently being debated in Parliament and the Vision for Mobility Act[2] planned for early 2019, the introduction of delegated-driving vehicles is shifting into high gear. The School of Law and Social Sciences at Aix-Marseille University, together with the VEDECOM Institute, is launching the first-ever Legal Issues for Self-Driving Vehicles degree programme. Who is criminally liable in the event of an accident? Who insures the risks? Who compensates victims? This one-of-a-kind programme answers a wide range of legal questions raised by the development of self-driving vehicles. The goal of the programme is to train legal experts and anyone else who may be called upon to deal with questions of liability arising from the use of self-driving vehicles. When they have completed the programme, students receive a post-graduate certificate.

Practical, Forward-Looking Content
With a team that includes university professors and VEDECOM experts, the course provides students with the basic technical and legal knowledge they need to deal with cases involving self-driving cars, as well as the delegated-driving vehicles that already exist. Intended for one-year masters students, as either initial or continuing education, the course comprises 79 teaching hours between January and June 2019, i.e. two days per month, primarily at the Insurance Institute of Aix-Marseille (Institut des Assurances d’Aix-Marseille). One day will be spent at the UTAC track in Montlhéry. Students also have the chance to take part in a tutored project where they resolve a self-driving vehicle case. The results of the case will be presented during a seminar open to the public.

Learning That Connects You to the Realities of Self-Driving Vehicles
Understood to mean a delegated-driving vehicle where the driver transfers some or all of their driving responsibilities to a system, self-driving vehicles raise a number of important questions. While there is still a lot of ground to cover before fully automated self-driving vehicles hit the roads, the Legal Issues for Self-Driving Vehicles certificate provides a survey of existing legal doctrine applicable to delegated driving and the experimental conditions required to establish liability in the event of an accident. The goal is to help students develop a range of expertise that will enable them to understand self-driving vehicles, determine civil and criminal liability in the event of an accident, explain European and international public policies, and decipher and negotiate insurance contracts for vehicles equipped with delegated-driving features.

Encouraging Interactivity to Master New Mobility Solutions
At a time when new technological innovations and mobility concepts are being released at a breakneck speed, learning about the challenges and uses of these vehicles is no longer optional. Thanks to its collaborative structure and partnerships, the VEDECOM Institute proposes fun and interactive training courses to learn about the latest sustainable, efficient, and safe mobility options. These training courses give a comprehensive overview of the mobility options in the institute’s three fields of expertise: vehicle electrification, self-driving and connectivity, and shared mobility and energy. Using digital and physical tools, the students experiment with the new mobility solutions. They get the chance to visit research laboratories and test an autonomous vehicle. They also have access to digital platforms to deepen their knowledge with teaching methods that are fun yet educational.

[1] Article 43 provides for the possibility of a broad range of experiments with self-driving vehicles.
[2] This law will make delegated driving possible in non-experimental contexts.

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