I just saw this youtube video where a Telsa using the Summon feature was pulled over for going through a stop sign. Summon makes it drive itself to a target location to pick up the driver. Say the car ran a stop sign and the cop wanted to give a ticket. Would the owner still receive the ticket even though he wasn't driving it? What would happen if it got pulled over far from the summon so there was no owner near by? This is different issue then pulling over a self-driving car, since there is no one in the car.

  • Certainly the owner of the vehicle is responsible for damages caused by the vehicle, or for any traffic violations. In the case of an autonomous vehicle, the owner may be able to move liability to the manufacturer, depending on what kind of contracts the individual agreed to when purchasing the vehicle, although that most likely won’t be a successful endeavor Commented Dec 8, 2019 at 18:04

2 Answers 2


There's always someone legally in charge of a car who will get tickets. Doesn't have to be a self driving car: Parked cars get tickets all the time. I've seen a car in a car park suddenly starting to roll, apparently on its own. Someone was legally responsible.


The person driving the car gets the ticket

For example, the [Road Transport Act]1 has the following definitions.

"drive" includes--

(a) be in control of the steering, movement or propulsion of a vehicle, and

(b) in relation to a trailer, draw or tow the trailer, and

(c) ride a vehicle.

" driver" means any person driving a vehicle, and includes any person riding a vehicle.

For a totally autonomous car, the law hasn’t been settled who the driver is. The death of Elaine Herzberg has not yet led to any criminal trials and the civil matters have been settled so did not set any precedent. As these technologies become more prevalent then either legislatures will update the rules or a court will set a precedent.

  • 1
    I’d say the remote summons feature readily fits into “be in control of the ... movement ... of a vehicle”.
    – user28517
    Commented Dec 7, 2019 at 22:07

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