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The Future is Now: Cyber Security Risks in a Driverless World

Author: Amy Chambers

Guest Editor: Terra Davenport

July 8, 2019 9:54am

As the autonomous vehicle (AV) industry continues to grow, so too does the risk for AV related cyberattacks.  Experts suggest commercial AVs face a greater risk of hacking due to the high-value goods they carry.  Companies like Wal-Mart and Amazon have been testing self-driving trucks over the past few years, and the United States Postal Service recently began testing these vehicles on long-haul routes with short turnaround times.

Big Steps Taken Toward Getting Self-Driving Semi-Trucks On the Road

Author: Bryan D. Scholnick

Guest Editor: Terra Davenport

July 8, 2019 9:51am

This may not be first steps on the moon; however, on June 16, 2019, a heavy-duty commercial truck drove along Florida’s Turnpike with no driver inside.  The truck successfully drove 9.4 miles navigating a rest area, merging onto the highway, changing lanes, and keeping a speed of 55 mph. The entire 9.4 mile journey can be watched on YouTube.  The company behind this feat is Starsky Robotics.  The semi-truck was initially driven remotely.

Robo-Taxis in San Francisco – Cost Effective or a Public Health Matter?

Author: Monica Castillo

Guest Editor: Terra Davenport

July 8, 2019 9:43am

One of California’s most popular cities also has unique geographical limitations. San Francisco, a 49 square mile city surrounded by water on three sides, has experienced a high-density population boom which, in turn, has led to more vehicles and more accidents. In the United States, vehicular accidents claim about 40,000 lives annually. In 2018, there were 23 traffic deaths (pedestrians and bicyclists) in San Francisco, up from 22 deaths in 2017.

AV Technology and Patent Litigation: A Survey of the Road Ahead

Author: Michaela Jester

Guest Editor: Alla Policastro

April 10, 2019 10:15am

Autonomous vehicle patents: the next theater of [litigation] war? The burgeoning innovation of autonomous vehicle (“AV”) technology has spurred a precipitous race to secure corners of the market by the acquisition of intellectual property rights. An unprecedented volume of AV patent applications are flooding patent-granting offices around the globe; with AV technology advancing daily, the growth of proprietary claims is exponential.

Let Talk About Elevators – That‘s Right, Elevators

Author: Bryan D. Scholnick

Guest Editor: Alla Policastro

April 10, 2019 10:13am

A few years ago, National Public Radio discussed the similarities between elevators and autonomous vehicles.  (Remembering When Driverless Elevators Drew Skepticism, Morning Edition, NPR, July 31, 2015.) This discussion centered on how the automatic passenger elevator took over 50 years to become what it is today – not even a second thought about getting in and going.  Originally, elevators required operators to guide…

At the Intersection of Intellectual Property and Autonomous Vehicles: Options, Considerations, and Management

Author: Michaela Jester

Guest Editor: Alla Policastro

April 10, 2019 10:11am

For those investing in the Autonomous Vehicle (“AV”) market by securing intellectual property (“IP”) rights, savvy management of an IP portfolio will require, at a minimum, an understanding of the expansive range of benefits and risks associated with each IP investment option. The emergence of AV technology brings intricacies and nuances, many of which are yet to be fully realized. To avoid downstream litigation and disputes, those…

Congress Pulls the Plug on Agreeing to a Bill Regulating the Design and Manufacture of Autonomous Vehicles

Author: Ben Davis

Guest Editor: Alla Policastro

April 10, 2019 10:06am

As autonomous vehicles become mainstream, many questions remain about how to regulate auto manufacturers concerning the development and implementation of such technologies. Surprisingly, the federal government has yet to enact minimum design, safety, and performance standards governing autonomous vehicles. Instead, the federal government has left regulation up to individual states. Although several manufacturers, including…

Robocop: Will Driverless Police Vehicles be Rolling Out Soon?

Author: Codie Dukes

October 12, 2018 2:00pm

Autonomous driving technology has entered the fast lane in recent years. Beginning with automated vehicles manned with a driver, and most recently driverless taxis, is Robocop next? If Ford Motor Company has its way, autonomous police cars will be hitting the pavement soon.

Will Statistical Analysis Be Necessary to Assert the Sudden Emergency Doctrine in Cars Equipped with Autonomous Vehicles?

Author: Bryan D. Scholnick

October 12, 2018 2:00pm

In Washington, and in many other states, defendants in a car accident can assert that they were “suddenly confronted by an emergency through no negligence of his or her own and who is compelled to decide instantly how to avoid injury and who makes such a choice as a reasonably careful person placed in such a position might make, is not negligent even though it is not the wisest choice.”  WPI 12.02.  The sudden emergency doctrine…

Defenses in Autonomous Vehicle Litigation

Author: Rachel Donnelly

October 12, 2018 2:00pm

Just as autonomous vehicles are in their early stages, so is litigation involving autonomous vehicles. Although potential theories of liability have not been completely fleshed out in court, it is a safe bet we can expect the plaintiffs’ bar to bring negligence, product liability, and statutory claims. Autonomous vehicle manufacturers are currently testing different defenses, and autonomous vehicle manufacturers are expected to start creating…

Washington State May Be Creating a New Type of Insurance Product; The Hybrid Auto-Manufacturing Liability Policy

Author: Bryan D. Scholnick

July 16, 2018 9:00am

Generally, when we hear about autonomous vehicles, we hear about the innovations and strides being made by companies like Uber, Apple, Microsoft, and Google.  Other than Tesla, it is rare we hear news about the traditional automakers performing vehicle testing: the Big Three of their respective regions.  There is no doubt these companies will quickly start marketing and selling their branded autonomous vehicle.  If they plan to start doing…

Autonomous Vehicles in San Diego – New Regulations and What it Means for Manufacturers and Insurers in California

Author: Jeremy Freedman

July 16, 2018 9:00am

When driving the roads of San Diego it is easy to overlook autonomous vehicles (“AV”), the hazards attendant with new technology on our roads, and what it means to us. Indeed, there has been little coverage on AV testing or incidents here in San Diego. With the recent coverage of AV incidents in San Francisco, Las Vegas, and more recently Phoenix, San Diego has quietly hidden under the radar. However, beginning as early as 1997, San Diego…

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