The liability for damages caused by a car in automated driving mode is not explicitly regulated under Slovenian law.
General rules of liability for damages caused by a moving vehicle distinguish between strict liability and culpable liability of a vehicle user. Further, if damages occur due to a fault in a vehicle, the strict liability of the vehicle manufacturer can apply.
Strict liability of a vehicle user: A moving vehicle is under settled Slovenian case law considered dangerous object. Slovenian Obligations Code (Obligacijski zakonik – OZ) provides for a strict liability of the holder of a dangerous object. The user of a moving vehicle will thus be liable for any damages therefrom, unless the vehicle was (i) removed unlawfully from the user without him being responsible for the removal, (ii) entrusted to another person by the user. In these cases, the person that took the vehicle from the user or was entrusted with the use of the vehicle shall be liable instead of the user.
The exemption of the strict liability applies if the user can prove that (i) the damage originated from any cause outside the vehicle whose effect could not be foreseen, avoided, or averted, and (ii) the damage occurred exclusively because of action by the injured party or a third person that could not be foreseen and the consequences of which could not avoided or eliminated.
Culpable liability of a vehicle user: The rules on culpable liability of a vehicle user apply in case of damages caused by an accident involving at least two moving vehicles where damage was caused mutually. If the accident was caused by the sole fault (intentionally or out of negligence) of one vehicle user involved in the accident, the respective user is entirely liable for the damage incurred. If the fault is mutual the users shall each be liable for all the damage incurred thereby, in proportion to each user’s level of fault. If nobody is at fault the users shall be liable for equal shares unless justice demands otherwise.
The strict liability of each vehicle user involved in an accident does not cease. Moreover, if two or more vehicle users involved in an accident are partly or fully liable for damage suffered by third parties, their liability shall be joint and several.
Strict liability of the manufacturer: The manufacturer of an object, that entails a risk of damage to people or property for reason of any type of defect in the object, shall be liable for damage caused by such defect. According to the settled case law, legally relevant are only defects in design, factory defects, scientific and technical development defects, and industrial defects. Therefore, any defects in the software of the AV’s or other autonomous driving systems would likely lead to sole liability of the manufacturer.