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The 21st Century’s Horseless Buggies: How New Ways of Getting Around Changed Society

January 25, 2021

Each year the National Center for State Courts releases a look at national and global issues that may be five to ten years away from impacting state courts in our On the Horizon series. The 21st Century’s Horseless Buggies, looks at how changes in transportation change not only how people get around but create a need for new laws and impact the types of crimes people commit.

First man walked, then rode horses, then the bicycle followed by the car, and now electric scooters, self-driving cars, and drone delivery is taking to the streets. Flying cars and jet packs are a real possibility in the not-so-distant future. With the introduction and large-scale adaption of new modes of transportation courts serve as the neutral party to suss out the rights and provide justice for those wronged as old and new fight for space on the roadways. Issues related to new modes of transportation will expand beyond patent rights and who had the right of way. In the thick of it all will be the courts.

The 21st Century’s Horseless Buggies covers:

  • Each time a new mode of transportation has been introduced and becomes popular, there have been battles on how to share the roads and walkways with the existing transportation.
  • Dedicated lanes by mode of transportation time may alleviate some of the conflict.
  • Artificial intelligence, AI, is piloting everything from drones to delivery robots and cars.
  • AI is getting very good, but still not perfect and can cause confusion or put people at risk when the AI tries to interact with the real world.
  • Human jobs will be displaced by AI vehicles and will change the nature of related crimes.
  • AI vehicles rely on cameras to operate, creating a wide surveillance network and raising privacy concerns.

To read the entire article check out the latest edition of On the Horizon.

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