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Coronavirus Response: Real-World Case for Expanded Autonomous Vehicles Testing in the U.S.

In response to the onset of  the COVID-19 outbreak, companies suspended autonomous vehicle (AV) programs in an effort to limit contact between drivers and riders and to comply with social distancing recommendations.   While limited continued testing of autonomous vehicles will still be possible via virtual simulation tools, AV technology, within the context of the coronavirus pandemic, may still present the possibility of addressing critical needs and providing essential services through the use of driverless delivery vehicles.   The combination of the need to minimize health risks presented to and by human drivers who deliver vital supplies and materials to the public, and the ability of AVs, equipped with disinfection tools, to deliver such items, may incentivize public authorities to authorize expanded testing and use of AV throughout the U.S. (more…)

EU Data Protection Regulator Issues New Guidelines for Personal Data Processing in Connected Vehicles

In a development that is likely to be monitored by U.S. legislators and regulators in considering new controls on personal data being collected in connected automotive vehicles, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) issued new guidelines addressing the processing of personal data within the context of such vehicles on February 7, 2020, and will remain open for public comment until March 20, 2020. The guidelines focus on data flows involving data that is processed in the connected automobile, exchanged among vehicles and personal devices that interface with them, and shared with third parties, such as insurance carriers that monitor driving habits and patterns. The EDPB considers most, if not all, such data to be personal data, as it includes the driver’s identity and other data relating to driving style, travel distances and geolocation, which may be cross-referenced with a vehicle identification number, and therefore may be linked to the driver’s identity. (more…)