Calls for European robotics regulations

There have been calls by the European Parliament for there to be European wide robotics rules that would settle a number of legal issues to include compliance with ethical standards as well as liability for accidents where driverless vans and cars are involved. This comes from the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee, which has made the request to the European Commission.

Rapporteur Mady Delvaux said: “A growing number of areas of our daily lives are increasingly affected by robotics. In order to address this reality and to ensure that robots are and will remain in the service of humans, we urgently need to create a robust European legal framework.”

The European Parliament Rapporteur had produced a report on robotics issues that the Legal Affairs Committee approved on Thursday this week by 17 votes to two and two abstentions.

In their meeting yesterday, the Legal Affairs Committee members also urged the Commission to consider creating a “European agency for robotics and artificial intelligence to supply public authorities with technical, ethical and regulatory expertise” and they also proposed a voluntary ethical code of conduct to regulate who would be accountable for the social, environmental and human health impacts of robotics.

What this will mean for the UK is unclear under Brexit. Should we do a ‘hard Brexit’ we will almost certainly carry all the regulations imposed upon us by the EU initially though whether the EC would act quickly enough for these to be in place within two years of March this year, and whether it would be decreed to apply to the UK cannot be said.
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