The Ministry of Transport’s bill on unmanned vehicles was considered crude

The Presidential Council for Codification did not support the bill of the Ministry of Transport “On highly automated and fully automated vehicles” (PTS). The conclusion is at the disposal of “Vedomosti”. A document establishing rules for unmanned vehicles capable of driving without human intervention was developed in June 2021. According to him, their owners must take out insurance, undergo inspection, and the drone itself must be able to disable automation and stop itself. Responsibility in case of an accident is supposed to be assigned to the owner of the PTS.

Currently, the movement of drones without a test engineer in the driver’s seat on public roads in Russia is prohibited. Since the end of 2018, the government has been conducting an experiment to test such cars on public roads – they are allowed to drive in a number of areas of Moscow and Tatarstan, but only with a tester behind the wheel. Later, in 2020, the experiment was extended to 11 regions. Yandex, Kamaz, MADI, KB Aurora, Innopolis, Starline NGO and others take part in it.

Most of the provisions of the bill do not provide for regulations that take into account the specifics of the PTS, have references to existing legislation, the council said. Experts point out that in recognizing the PTS as a source of increased danger, the important question is who is the cause of the damage and, therefore, the person who will be obliged to compensate for the damage. The draft does not resolve this issue, it is proposed to be guided by “general rules”.

Now, according to the decision of the plenum of the Supreme Court, the responsibility for the vehicle lies with the legal entity or citizen who uses it, ie not only the owner, but also, for example, the tenant of the vehicle, who is behind the wheel. In the case of PTS, it is noted in the conclusion, there are additional entities involved in causing harm: the dispatcher and the manufacturer of PTS. “This is the main specificity related to PTS. However, in the draft law this specificity is completely ignored, ”the text of the conclusion reads.

According to the experts of the council, the requirements for compulsory liability insurance of the owner of PTS, taking into account the potential danger associated with the use of new technologies should not be less stringent than the requirements for owners of conventional vehicles. “If the developers of the project due to lack of statistics propose to leave the decision on this issue to the discretion of insurers, the project should provide general principles for determining the insurance rate,” – said the council.

The draft law on drones was created by the Ministry of Transport in co-authorship with Yandex and Sberavtotech. A representative of Yandex called “normal practice” the development of bylaws: “To fix all aspects of the Federal Law, the regulator needs extensive practice of operation of PTS, which currently does not exist.” According to Yandex, the law should come into force in 2024-2025. A representative of Sberavtotekh said that the company considers it important to continue working on the document: “The bill is needed by the industry – it must form a conceptual apparatus in the field of military-technical cooperation.”

The draft law is characterized by significant shortcomings, said a representative of STI Avtonet, who examined the bill: it does not provide completeness and specificity of legal regulation of public relations in the field of drone operation, the concept has not been worked out and the goal of legal regulation will not be achieved.

“Even at the test sites, road accidents involving PTS create many different situations, up to finding out whether there was external intervention and who can be responsible for such external intervention,” said Maxim Matrosov, senior project manager at NTI Up Great technology competitions. The lack of clearly defined responsibilities for the operation of PTS will clearly create barriers to market development, he said.

The main issue in regulation is the role of the provider of unmanned technology, says the president of the National Automobile Union Anton Shaparin. In his opinion, the company that developed the technology should be considered the cause of harm in the case of DPT. But the final answer to this question in such a configuration of the bill will not work, he said.

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