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…

Underinsured Motorist Claims in the Autonomous Future

Author: Conner Holdsworth

Guest Editor: Alla Policastro

April 10, 2019 10:07am

In 2018, California passed regulations allowing the State’s Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”) to issue permits related to the testing and public use of autonomous vehicles on the State’s public roadways.  Those permits encompass all phases of the autonomous vehicle rollout, including human driver-accompanied testing, driverless testing, and full-blown public use (deployment).  While the manufacturers work fervently to obtain…

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…

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

Author: Bryan D. Scholnick

Guest Editor: Brittany Torrence

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…

A Townhall on the Future of AV in California

Author: Mark Bolin

Guest Editor: Brittany Torrence

October 12, 2018 2:00pm

The future of autonomous vehicles in California is a development with stakeholders eager to make their mark. There are parties in every corner with no shortage of ideas about where the industry is headed, and the State is looking to ensure it is prepared for what comes next.

The Road to Autonomy

Author: Jennifer V. Gateb

Guest Editor: Brittany Torrence

October 12, 2018 2:00pm

Autonomous vehicles (“AV”), or vehicles that drive themselves absent human control, are no longer a dream, they are becoming a reality. In October, 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) adopted the following six levels to classify vehicle automation, which originated from the Society of Automotive Engineers (“SAE”)[1]:

Defenses in Autonomous Vehicle Litigation

Author: Rachel Donnelly

Guest Editor: Brittany Torrence

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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