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Some legal issues facing eVTOL flying cars
2022-03-09 09:28:36   来源:   评论:0 点击:

(Airbus)The future urban travel may be such a scenario, a "flying car " [1] slowly spreads its flight mechanism o


(Airbus)
 
The future urban travel may be such a scenario, a "flying car" [1] slowly spreads its flight mechanism on the road of the city, and changes from the road driving mode to the air flight mode. After the height, the flight mechanism slowly changes the cone, and then flies forward in a beautiful posture. When it is about to reach the sky, the cone of the flight mechanism gradually changes from incline to vertical, the airspeed gradually decreases, and then slowly landed at the destination. On a nearby city road, after the flying mechanism retracted, the flying car drove into an ordinary parking space like an ordinary passenger car.
 
The just past 2021 eVTOL [2] has once again become a hot spot in the aviation field and capital. Not only has the number of R&D units increased dramatically, but capital has also entered. According to relevant statistics, as of 2021, more than 200 companies or scientific research institutions are developing 420 types of related products, and the mainstream aircraft manufacturing industry giants and some well-known car manufacturers have also deployed in the eVTOL aircraft field. In September 2021, Shide Technology completed two rounds of financing within a month, totaling 10 million US dollars; Fengfei Aviation Technology completed 100 million US dollars in Series A financing; Xiaopeng Huitian soon broke the record with financing news and completed over 500 million US dollar Series A financing, pre-investment valuation reached 1 billion US dollars. On November 16, 2021, Xiaopeng Huitian made its debut at the European Aircraft Exhibition 2021. On the first day of the exhibition, Xiaopeng Huitian introduced the future three-dimensional travel solution - the latest two-person intelligent electric aircraft Traveler X2, and revealed that the X2 is planned to be tested in Europe in the first half of 2022, and also disclosed the sixth-generation flying car. conceptual configuration. In 2021, Xiaopeng Huitian said that its flying car will be mass-produced in 2024. The latest news is that the AirCar dual-mode flying car of the Slovak flying car company Klein Vision has obtained the airworthiness certificate issued by the Slovak Ministry of Transport.
 
Since a flying car combines the two functions of an aircraft and a motor vehicle, it can not only drive on the road like a car, but also fly in the air like an aircraft. Based on the current legal and regulatory system, a flying car can truly "fly", not only It is only the issue of airworthiness certification, and more importantly, there are still many unresolved legal gaps and legal application issues.
 
(Xpeng Huitian)
 
The issue of legal gaps
 
At present, the laws and regulations and civil aviation regulations related to flying cars in terms of products, personnel, operation, responsibilities, rights, registration, environment, security, insurance, etc. are still blank, and there are no clear and unified laws and regulations for flying cars in the world. The system is for reference. At present, only Japan and South Korea are at the forefront in terms of policy, but not at the regulatory level. For example, in terms of airworthiness certification, there are no model certification regulations, production license certification regulations, and airworthiness certification regulations for flying car products. It proves that the airspace management, route delineation, responsibility determination, etc. of flying cars in operation are even more blank.
 
2. The problem of normative aggregation under the current legal system
 
1. Specification aggregation issues related to aircraft and motor vehicle products.
 
In order to legally enter the market for flying cars, it is necessary not only to obtain a "motor vehicle factory certificate" but also to obtain the "three major airworthiness certification certificates" for aircraft. In accordance with the "Civil Aviation Law of the People's Republic of China" (hereinafter referred to as the "Civil Aviation Law"), "Regulations of the People's Republic of China on the Administration of Airworthiness of Civil Aircraft", "Regulations on the Certification of Civil Aviation Products and Parts" and other relevant laws and regulations, any unit or individual may To design a civil aircraft, you should apply to the Civil Aviation Administration and obtain a Type Certificate; to manufacture a civil aircraft, you need to go through a production license and obtain a Production Certificate; to use a civil aircraft, you need to go through a single airworthiness inspection and obtain a Aircraft Certificate. Therefore, flying cars can enter the Chinese civil aviation product market only after gradually passing the airworthiness certification of the Civil Aviation Administration and obtaining the "three major airworthiness certification certificates". According to Article 10 of the "Road Traffic Safety Law of the People's Republic of China" (hereinafter referred to as the "Road Traffic Law"), "The motor vehicle approved for registration shall meet the national safety technical standards for motor vehicles. When applying for motor vehicle registration, the safety of the motor vehicle shall be accepted. Technical inspection. However, for a motor vehicle model produced by an enterprise recognized by the national motor vehicle product authority in accordance with the national motor vehicle safety technical standards, the new car of this model has been inspected to meet the national motor vehicle safety technical standards and obtained an inspection certificate when it leaves the factory. Exemption from safety technical inspection”. Article 9 To apply for motor vehicle registration, one shall submit the certificate of conformity of the whole motor vehicle from the factory or the import certificate of imported motor vehicle. Therefore, the manufacturer of motor vehicle products needs to apply to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People's Republic of China to obtain the access permit for road motor vehicle manufacturers and products, and obtain the "Motor Vehicle Factory Qualification Certificate" before the motor vehicle can enter the Chinese motor vehicle product market. Obviously, based on the current regulations and technical standard system and the multi-scenario operation characteristics of flying cars not only can drive on the road like ordinary vehicles, but also fly in the air like aircraft, flying cars will not only drive on the road like ordinary vehicles, but also fly in the air like aircraft. Creates the "canonical aggregation" problem. Based on the current regulations and technical standard system, the author agrees with the concept of normative aggregation in terms of product market access for flying cars, but does not agree that the above-mentioned specifications should be applied to both airworthiness certification and product access for flying cars. First of all, it is difficult to harmonize the two in terms of technical standards. There are 117 mandatory national standards related to automobiles, including 34 active safety technical standards, 29 passive safety technical standards, 30 general safety technical standards, and 24 environmental protection and energy saving standards; 18 national standards related to aircraft, industry Standard class 622, technical standard class 178, special conditions and exemptions class 49. So many technical standards can easily lead to contradictions. For example, it is difficult for the aerodynamic layout and structural strength standards of aircraft to be unified with the passive safety technical standards of automobiles, or there is an essential contradiction between the two. Secondly, the purpose of these technical standards at the time of formulation was different, and they may be too "one-sided". For example, the technical standards of aircraft may be related to crash resistance, while the motor vehicle may be related to frontal collision. The original technical standards were only formulated when they were formulated. From the single perspective of "road driving or air flight", it is only a certain aspect, and does not consider the integration of the two scenarios of "air and road". Thirdly, the application of science and technology and people's ideas when these standards were formulated at that time have changed a lot compared to now. If the standards and ideas at that time are "applied" to flying cars, it is obviously not considered that science and technology have achieved corresponding results. Progress obviously does not consider that due to the progress of science and technology, the application of new science and technology can solve some technical problems that could not be solved due to the limitation of science and technology.
 
2. Regulate the aggregation problem in the registration of flying cars.
 
According to the "Civil Aircraft Nationality Registration" system stipulated in Article 7 of the Civil Aviation Law and the "Registration System Implemented by the State for Motor Vehicles" stipulated in Article 8 of the Road Traffic Law, flying cars must be approved by the competent civil aviation authority of the State Council of the People's Republic of China. You can fly in the air and drive on the road only after you have registered your nationality in accordance with the law, obtained a nationality registration certificate of the People's Republic of China, and obtained a car license plate after being registered with the traffic management department of the public security organ. Obviously, there is a "double registration" problem in the registration of flying cars based on the current specification system. Obviously, there is a problem of specification aggregation when flying cars are registered. In terms of registration, the author does not agree with "dual registration". It is suggested that the competent civil aviation department of the State Council and the traffic management department of the public security organ jointly formulate the corresponding registration standards and methods, and the registration should be centralized by one department to simplify the administrative registration process.
 
3. The issue of normative aggregation in the acquisition of relevant personnel qualifications.
 
According to the provisions of Article 40 of the Civil Aviation Law and Article 19 of the Road Traffic Law, the driver of a flying car should not only obtain a pilot license for the relevant "model" but also obtain a flight license that matches the "model" he is driving. Driving license. Article 40 of the "Civil Aviation Law" stipulates that aviation personnel shall receive special training, pass the examination, and obtain a license issued by the competent civil aviation authority of the State Council before they can undertake the work specified in their license; Article 19 of the "Road Traffic Law" drives a motor vehicle , shall obtain a motor vehicle driver's license in accordance with the law. According to the current regulations and technical standard system, the driver of flying car must not only be "airworthy" but also "qualified" in terms of qualification. Based on the current regulations and technical standards system, the author agrees with normative aggregation in terms of the qualifications of flying car drivers and related "air-ground personnel".
 
4. Run-time specification aggregation and specification co-opetition.
 
According to the "Civil Aviation Law" and the "General Operation and Flight Rules" on flight management, flying cars must abide by the flight rules of the aircraft when flying in the air, obey the command of the controller, and fly in the designated airspace, altitude, airspeed, and route. According to the "Road Traffic Law", when driving on the road, it is necessary to abide by the road traffic rules, when the motor vehicle is on the road, follow the traffic rules, and follow the traffic signals or the instructions of the management personnel. Under the current legal system, flying cars must abide by the Civil Aviation Law, the Civil Aviation Administration of China's General Operation and Flight Rules, and the Road Traffic Law respectively in these two operating scenarios. . The author does not agree with "simple normative aggregation", and the author believes that the situation of applying civil aviation regulations and road traffic laws in sections occurs in the entire "operation process of road driving and air flight". If the entire operation process of the flying car is divided into two stages, "driving on the road and flying in the air", and the law is applied in stages, there is no problem of normative aggregation. The road driving stage only needs to abide by the "Road Traffic Law", because this stage does not involve flying in the air. At this time, the flying car is still driving on the road as a car, and it does not involve the application of the "Civil Aviation Law". The air flight stage only needs to abide by the Civil Aviation Law and the General Operation and Flight Rules of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, because this stage does not involve driving on the road, and the flying car at this time is still flying in the air as an aircraft. , does not involve the application of the "Tao Traffic Law".
 
(Airbus)
 
3. Normative competition and legal gaps in civil liability under the current legal system
 
 
 
 
The law is always abstract, and the law uses abstract legal norms to regulate social life. In reality, it often happens that a fact meets the constituent elements of several legal norms, resulting in a situation where several legal norms are applicable. A certain legal norm excludes another legal norm at the same time. In civil law, this legal phenomenon is called norm co-occurrence [3]. In the near future, when people travel by flying cars become a reality, when flying cars collide with vehicles on the road in the process of running, is this fact under the current legal system a problem of regulatory competition or legal blank?
 
1. Standardize competing views
 
The first reason is that flying cars and aircraft that cause damage to a third person on the ground have completely different operational “willingness” and “scenarios”. The aircraft in "Damage to the third person on the ground caused by aircraft" does not involve the "will" and "scenario" of running on the road stipulated in the Road Traffic Safety Law during the entire operation process, so it will not touch the application of the "Road Traffic Safety Law". Law issues. However, flying cars have the "will" and "scenario" to operate on the roads stipulated in the "Road Traffic Safety Law", which will touch on the application of the "Road Traffic Safety Law".
 
The second reason is that a flying car is not only a "dual identity" of a motor vehicle and an aircraft, and it can be seen from the two operating scenarios that it can not only drive on the road but also fly in the air. If a flying car collides with a vehicle on the road during operation, not only the Civil Aviation Law but also the traffic law, the Road Traffic Law, can be applied. A collision fact complies with the constituent elements of several legal norms, resulting in a situation where several legal norms are applicable, so it is a norm overlapping.
 
2. Legal blank view
 
According to the operating characteristics of the flying car, the entire operation process of the flying car can be divided into "ground driving stage, ground driving is converted into air flight stage (hereinafter referred to as "ground-air conversion stage"), air flight stage, and air flight is converted into ground driving stage (Hereinafter referred to as the "air-ground conversion stage") From the perspective of the four stages, the "regulatory co-operation" issue at this time is actually a legal blank issue. In the ground driving stage, the flying car at this stage is completely a motor vehicle with the "identity" in the Those who drive on the ground road only need to abide by the Road Traffic Law, which does not involve the application of the Civil Aviation Law. At this time, if a flying car collides with a motor vehicle, the motor vehicle traffic accident in the Tort Liability Section of the Road Traffic Law and the Civil Code shall apply. The responsible part can be dealt with according to the traffic accident, and there is no problem of regulation competition and cooperation. In the air flight stage, the flying car at this stage is completely an aircraft flying in the air with the "identity" of an aircraft. It only needs to abide by the Civil Aviation Law and related regulations, and does not involve The application of the "Road Traffic Law". At this time, if there is damage to the ground motor vehicle caused by the flying car, the "Civil Aviation Law" and the "Civil Code" tort liability section can be applied to deal with the high-risk liability section, and there will be no problem of regulatory competition. In the air-to-air transition stage, the flying car not only has the "dual identity" of a car and an aircraft, but also overlaps in the operation "scenario" and "will". At this time, if a collision between a flying car and a motor vehicle occurs, Neither the application of relevant transportation regulations nor the civil aviation law can fully meet the "dual identity" of flying cars, so it is essentially a legal blank issue.
 
(Klein Vision)
 
4. Imaginary co-opetition of criminal liability under the current system of laws and regulations
 
Imagination co-opetition means that the perpetrator commits a criminal act with one subjective intention, commits two or more crimes, and is punished with a heavier penalty for the subjective and intentional crime. Co-existence of legal provisions refers to the situation in which a criminal act violates several specific criminal provisions with inclusive relationship at the same time, and only one of the legal provisions is applicable to conviction and sentencing according to the law. "Imaginary co-operation" and "legal co-operation" generally mean that the perpetrator commits one crime instead of several crimes, and the two are easily confused in judicial practice. The main difference between the two lies in whether there is overlap or overlap between the laws and regulations violated by the cooperating offenders. The overlapping or overlapping relationship is called "law overlap", and the non-overlapping or overlapping relationship is "imaginary overlap". It is assumed that there is no necessary connection between the several crimes committed by the co-opetition, and there is no mutual inclusive and overlapping relationship between the laws and regulations. In the near future, after flying cars enter our work and life as a means of transportation, it can be predicted that criminal problems related to flying cars will occur.
 
The crime of hijacking an aircraft and the crime of hijacking a motor vehicle co-exist in the imagination. Assuming that the suspect hijacked a "vehicle" running on the road, if the flying car not only has the "dual identity" of a motor vehicle and an aircraft and is defined under the current legal and regulatory system, then the suspect will use a hijacking Subjectively and deliberately committed a criminal act, and at the same time violated the crime of hijacking an aircraft and hijacking a car, according to the theory of imaginary co-opetition, it should beSuspects are convicted and sentenced for the crime of hijacking an aircraft.
 
(Klein Vision)
 
5. The development history of eVTOL
 
In 1917, G. Curtis, known as the "father of flying cars", first proposed a flying car called Autoplane.
 
In the 1940s, when the automobile and aviation technology had developed considerably, Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, boldly issued the scientific prediction that "flying cars will appear sooner or later".
 
In the 1950s, American Mol Taylor combined a car with a fixed-wing aircraft to create a non-foldable fixed-wing flying car that could run on the ground and fly in the air, and obtained a flight license.
 
In 2009, the world's first flying car made its maiden flight in the United States. After landing, the wings can be folded with the press of a button, and it can be driven onto the highway.
 
In 2011, the Italian helicopter manufacturer AugustWestland released the prototype of "Project Zero". The concept source of the eVTOL electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle was first proposed in the form of an actual product.
 
In 2014, the American Helicopter Association (AHA) and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) formally introduced the concept of eVTOL at the Virginia Conference. "In 2016, Uber proposed the idea of ​​using eVTOL electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft as a future urban travel service carrier, which caused heated discussions in the society.
 
The products included in the eVTO aircraft catalogue released by the Vertical Flight Association have surged from the initial 6 to nearly 300, and there are more than 150 flying car companies in the world.
 
On November 2, 2021, the co-founder of Amazon PrimeAir joined the Vertical board of directors to promote airworthiness certification. The infrastructure company will help it deploy its infrastructure network across the UK. Avolon-e placed a conditional pre-order order for 500 of its 5-seat VA-X4 from Vertical, of which 350 will be provided to Brazil's Gol Airlines as previously announced November 16, 2021, Xiaopeng Huitian Debuted at EuroAircraft 2021. On the first day of the exhibition, Xiaopeng Huitian introduced the future three-dimensional travel solution - the latest two-person intelligent electric aircraft Traveler X2 (hereinafter referred to as "X2"), and revealed that the X2 is planned to be tested in Europe in the first half of 2022. The conceptual configuration of the sixth-generation flying car was disclosed.
 
6. Recommendations
 
1. From the analysis of the above legal vacuum, normative aggregation and imaginary co-opetition, it can be seen that only relying on the support of relevant policies and the interconnection of regulations under the current legal system cannot completely solve the legal problems faced by flying cars. Our related industries And practitioners only call for the support of the national policy is too broad, we should call for the accelerated promotion of legislation related to flying cars in terms of products, personnel, operations, responsibilities, rights, registration, environment, security, insurance, etc. Get up and lay a good legal foundation.
 
2. In terms of airworthiness certification, the airworthiness regulations and procedures of other types of aircraft cannot be completely mechanically applied. It is necessary to fully consider the operation and use scenarios of flying cars and the characteristics of technical application to formulate corresponding airworthiness certification regulations and systems. program. It is necessary to learn from the past experience of airworthiness certification on other types of aircraft and to abandon the past experience. The airworthiness regulations system itself contains the basic principle of "dynamic". Airworthiness certification is a process of continuous revision and improvement of dynamic changes and adjustments. Specifically, in the airworthiness certification of flying cars, it is necessary to scientifically adjust the past. The airworthiness certification experience on other types of aircraft is then applied to the airworthiness certification of flying cars. The airworthiness certification administrative agency and the design, manufacture and user units of flying vehicles shall cooperate together. From a certain point of view, the airworthiness certification unit is to legalize and regulate each specific technical standard or document, and the design, manufacture and use of flying cars are to technicalize each regulation. The work of airworthiness certification has created a gap between the technology and regulations between the airworthiness certification administrative agency and the design, manufacture and use units of flying vehicles, so it is necessary to work together. In 1957, when Boeing Company of the United States developed the first commercial jet 707, the FAA had no experience in airworthiness certification in the field of jet aircraft. In order to pass the airworthiness certification, Boeing had to cooperate with the FAA to "transform" the technology it has mastered about large jet aircraft into regulations, and the FAA "transformed" the regulations into technical standards to form a set of airworthiness for jet airliners Certification System.
 
 
3. Cooperate with general aviation companies to solve the pain points faced by general consumers to maintain the airworthiness and continuous airworthiness of flying cars. Due to the aircraft attributes of flying cars, in order to maintain the airworthiness and continuous airworthiness of flying cars, a single aircraft is required. Units with airworthiness qualifications carry out maintenance, and cooperation with general aviation companies can effectively solve the aforementioned problems. General aviation companies have rich experience in the operation of small aircraft. General aviation companies are closer to users, and general aviation companies can help flying cars enter the market faster.
 
7. Conclusion
 
[4] Science and technology and law are always interrelated and interact with each other. The progress of science and technology has brought new fields of legislation, science and technology are used in legislative activities, and science and technology affect the implementation of law. Science and technology continue to develop and explore far-reachingly in many fields. Scientists should understand the relevant legal rules and guide the appropriate legal boundaries for their work. In addition, lawyers should also pay attention to the development of science and technology, and the law needs to keep pace with the development of science and technology. Due to the limited level of the author, the author has never expected this article to reach a certain theoretical level.
 
Notes:
 
[1] A flying car is a vehicle that can not only drive on the road like an ordinary motor vehicle, but also fly in the air like an aircraft.
 
[2] eVTOL is the abbreviation of Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing, an aircraft with vertical takeoff and landing function that uses electricity as the source of flight power, including flying cars and electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft with or without manned, but eVTOL is not equivalent to flying car.
 
[3] Wang Zejian, "Civil Law Doctrine and Case Studies".
 
[4] Lord Hodge, Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.

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