How the rise of autonomous vehicles could affect divorce cases

Driverless or autonomous vehicles could impact many aspects of society, from commercial development to divorce. As cars requiring little or no human intervention become more prevalent in Pennsylvania and across the country, it's predicted that the demand for parking space may decline by as much as 90 percent. One of the less obvious ways that AVs may impact daily life is divorce proceedings, especially contentious ones.

With family law cases involving separation or divorce, data collected from driverless vehicles may be used to make a case for adultery. In addition, autonomous vehicles could become a valuable business asset for companies that use self-driving cars to make deliveries or transport employees. There could conceivably be disputes over who owns such assets if a business using driverless cars this way is owned jointly.

It's also possible that business growth made possible by autonomous vehicles could change the value of a couple's assets. If a couple invested jointly in commercial real estate that suddenly has more space for development due to a decrease in parking space, that investment could become a greater and more important source of income. An example of this is healthcare properties, which may use extra space to create new hospital wings or better on-campus amenities.

During any dispute involving a divorce, a lawyer often attempts to seek a mutually agreeable solution. When it comes to data collected from autonomous vehicles, a creative attorney may find a way to use this information to prove or disprove allegations made by one spouse against another. It's entirely possible that property disputes in a divorce case could eventually revolve around autonomous vehicle ownership or the ways in which those vehicles are used.

Source:, "Driverless car data could be used to prove adultery in divorce cases, MPs told," Jon Vale, October 23, 2017

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