If you own a home and a tree on your property falls on your neighbor and injures them; aren't you liable?
Yep. It's my tree, and I could have taken better care of it so that it wouldn't be prone to breaking. I also have insurance (homeowners or renters) to cover me in case of accidents.
You have friends over for a party; your gas oven blows up and kills one of your guests; aren't you liable?
I guess that would depend. Did my lack of maintenance or improper installation cause the accident, or was it a manufacturing defect? If it was a manufacturing defect that should have generated a recall, the insurance company or I will likely be going after damages from the manufacturer.
Same scenario, but you rent instead of own, then isn't the owner of the apartment liable?
If I'm a renter, then maintenance of the landscaping or appliances that come with the rental aren't my responsibility. If I was aware of a problem, and didn't report it, I guess I could have some portion of blame.
Hopefully we can figure that out vis-a-vis robots before there's too many cases where we must have the answer.
Those are all cases that have been visited multiple times, with multiple variations. They're similar examples, but not quite on the level of "I'm inside this rolling box that I'm not in control of". Historically the driver, and in some cases the owner, of the vehicle is liable for damages. Defining "driver" in the case of autonomous cars seems be one of the points that will have to be worked out before they will be fully integrated into society. No matter how proactive we try to be with creating law ahead of the implementation, there will be plenty of corner cases that statutes won't clealy cover. From the USian perspective, I expect most of those corner cases will get sorted out via litigation, not legislation.