Georgia Supreme Court May Play a Role in the Future of Autonomous Vehicles
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – According to an online news article published by www.jdsupra.com, a case before the Georgia Supreme Court may have a significant impact on how autonomous vehicles are regulated in the future.*
The Georgia Supreme Court will soon decide an important case involving a driver’s fourth amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. The highest court in Georgia heard oral arguments on June 19, 2019, and now must review the filings and arguments to reach a decision.
The case on appeal involves a man who was convicted of vehicular homicide. At the man’s trial, evidence from his vehicle’s airbag control module (also known as the vehicle’s “black box”) was admitted and presented to the jury. The police investigating the accident obtained the data from the airbag control module before first getting a signed warrant from a judge. The police did obtain a warrant the following day; however, the evidence had already been recovered without the warrant.
The man objected to the admission of evidence from the airbag control module on the grounds that such evidence was unlawfully obtained without a warrant, violating the man’s fourth amendment rights under the United States Constitution.
The Georgia Supreme Court must decide whether the man’s fourth amendment rights were violated based on the available facts of the case. The case is being closely watched throughout the country as the Court’s decision could have implications for all drivers, as vehicles are becoming more and more reliant on electronics.
Particularly, the Court’s decision may have an impact on how autonomous vehicles are regulated once they become more prevalent. Whether the police can obtain a vehicle’s electronic data for purposes of investigating an accident without a warrant is a significant decision. As such, regardless of the Georgia Supreme Court’s decision, the case may eventually be heard before the United States Supreme Court to address the matter on a national level.
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