New solutions for legal risk analysis of automated technologies

Making aviation safety and security research more effective in achieving Flighpath 2050 goals by identifying future needs, gaps and barriers, and by providing recommendations to steer EU Aviation Safety and Security research.

PROJECT: ALIAS – Addressing the Liability Impact of Automated Systems


DURATION: 2011-2016 (CLOSED)



ALIAS aims at addressing the legal implications of automation in safety-critical systems. In particular, the project focuses on how liability should be allocated when agency does not pertain exclusively to humans or to machines, but rather to hybrid man-machine systems. 

To address these issues, ALIAS combines theoretical investigation on liability and automation with live discussions involving both aviation stakeholders and legal experts.

ALIAS has produced two main products:

  • The Legal Case, a web-based tool which can be used for a structured legal analysis that identifies the liabilities allocation among different actors who use technologies with different levels of automation.
  • The digital training on liability and automation, supporting the application of the Legal Case.



Deep Blue contributes to the validation of the Legal Case. We organised and managed the validation sessions, where a user group composed of legal experts and aviation stakeholders applied the Legal Case analysis to two aviation technologies: the new Airborne Collision Avoidance Systems (ACAS X) and the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS).

We are also contributing to the development of the training course on liability and automation in aviation, which focuses on the problem of liability attribution in highly automated systems and how it is addressed by the Legal Case.
We are playing a key role in the project communication strategy, being responsible of project Dissemination and Exploitation activities. Deep Blue takes care of project identity design, website, brochure and videos production and scientific communication coordination.



  • ALIAS has created a Network, namely the Network of Legal Research in ATM, which is the on-line community involving legal experts and aviation stakeholders in the debate on liability and automation.
  • The Legal Case tool has been successfully applied for the analysis of aviation technologies. The tool also has the potential to be applied in other domains, as for example the healthcare.
  •  The digital training on liability and automation offers all the opportunity to develop an understanding of the issues concerning the impact of automation on socio-technical systems and the related liability and responsibility assessment.


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