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Autonomous Vehicle Law

The latest news and analysis surrounding the intersection of the autonomous vehicle industry and the law, from Baker Donelson.

Senators Markey and Blumenthal Reintroduce Legislation to Protect Against Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Risks in Vehicles

Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), both members of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, reintroduced the Security and Privacy in Your Car (SPY Car) Act last week. The bill aims to protect drivers from cybersecurity and data privacy risks in increasingly computerized motor vehicles. While the prospect for passage in this Congress is highly unlikely, the bill addresses two of the most critical issue areas hindering the enactment of any meaningful autonomous vehicle legislation. read more…

Automated Vehicles and the Insurance Industry

The Casualty Actuarial Society’s Automated Vehicle Task Force released a 76-page report entitled “Automated Vehicles and the Insurance Industry, A Pathway to Safety: the Case for Collaboration.” The report discussed the impacts AVs will have on personal automobile premiums, compensating claimants, product liability impacts, non-premium considerations, automated vehicle risk and risk minimization strategies, and safety benchmarks. read more…

Insurance Consideration for Autonomous Vehicles

The recent A.M. Best podcast “The Approaching Wave of Autonomous Vehicles Drives New Risks to Insurers – Episode #154” is timely in light of changing patterns of automobile design and ownership. Those who wonder if the state regulatory system and insurance industry can handle autonomous vehicle development need look no further than Tennessee’s response to problems caused by Uber and self-driving vehicles. read more…

Tesla Autopilot Lawsuit in Florida

On October 30, 2018, Shawn Hudson filed a lawsuit in Florida state court against Tesla, claiming that Tesla’s Autopilot system did not perform as advertised and caused his Model S to crash while on his commute to work. In the lawsuit, Hudson alleges that he paid $5,000 extra for the Autopilot feature so that he could relax on his 125 mile commute. In his first year of ownership, Hudson put 98,000 miles on the Model S, using the Autopilot function frequently. The complaint alleges that the more he used the Autopilot feature, the more he came to rely on it. read more…

Autonomous Tractor Truck Hits the Road in Sweden

On May 15, 2019, Swedish startup Einride launched an autonomous tractor-trailer on a public road in Sweden. It began operating on a short stretch of road in the transport hub of Jönköping. The trial run is set to run until 2020, and is the first time a fully autonomous vehicle without a backup driver has been allowed on a public road in Sweden. The “T-pod” truck is, however, supervised remotely by an operator who can take control of the truck if necessary. read more…

Autonomous Tractor Trailers Coming to I-10 Soon

TuSimple, a California-based autonomous truck start-up, has been mapping routes and plans to haul commercial loads from Arizona to San Antonio, Houston and other Texas cities. “Safety drivers” will initially sit behind the wheel, but TuSimple hopes to take them out of the trucks by the end of 2020. Showing off its technology at the SXSW Interactive Conference in Austin, TuSimple said that it is planning to spend $1 billion on this project. read more…

Orange to Collaborate with Renault and Ericsson on 5G Technology for Autonomous Vehicles

At the Orange Business Summit held on April 18, French telecom company Orange outlined how it sees its 5G cellular technology enabling autonomous vehicles. Working in conjunction with Renault and Ericsson, the three companies aim to measure the capacity of 5G communications between autonomous vehicles and their environment, including other connected cars, highway infrastructure such as traffic lights and signals, etc. The consortium plans to test the system on a hybrid V2X (vehicle to anything) architecture, including by using “network slicing,” which is a feature of 5G that assigns a slice of network to a specific use. read more…

France to Test Autonomous Shuttles

Citing it as an opportunity to increase access to mobility, especially in rural territories, France’s transportation ministry has green-lighted a trial of 16 experimental autonomously-driven vehicles from company EasyMile. The experiment includes vehicles operating as shuttles, performing short distance passenger transport duties as well as last-mile connectivity between existing public transit and harder-to-access rural cities. Some of the vehicles will also be used for package delivery. The EasyMile experiment will be evaluated for effectiveness and safety in 2022. By that point, the vehicles are expected to have operated close to one million kilometers. read more…

UK Moves Towards Driverless Car Tests without Safety Drivers

The UK government has announced it’s working to support trials of AVs that don’t have human drivers in advance of a goal to have fully driverless cars on its roads by 2021.

The UK updated its Code of Practice to provide clearer guidance for public road trials. The UK gave the green light for hands-free testing of driverless cars back in 2015, though it still requires a human driver behind the wheel. read more…