June 26, 2022

Volume XII, Number 177

Advertisement
Advertisement

June 24, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

June 23, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis
Advertisement

Federal Regulation of Self-Driving Cars

The first self-driving car appeared on public roads in 2009. Since then, hundreds of other companies have begun working on various technologies designed to put self-driving cars on public roads, and the regulation of autonomous vehicles has been left up to the individual states.

In a bipartisan effort, a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee recently voted to end the patchwork of state regulations with the Highly Automated Vehicle Testing and Deployment Act of 2017. The full vote of the House of Representatives will not take place until after the summer recess.

The regulations would give the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) broad oversight over autonomous vehicles, and prevent individual states from enacting their own automated car laws. States, however, would retain the ability to require licensing, registration, and maintenance regulations.

Under these regulations, up to 100,000 self-driving vehicles would initially be allowed on public roads for testing purposes. These vehicles would not be required to adhere to current vehicle safety standards. The vehicle manufacturers would establish the criteria under which the autonomous vehicles would operate. This would allow autonomous cars to drive on US roads before establishing baseline criteria that determine whether self-driving cars are safe on public roads with human drivers.

Proponents of the regulations believe that this legislation will speed up and enhance development of self-driving car technology, and make public roads safer because approximately 94% of fatal automobile accidents have been determined to be caused by human error. The argument is that roads will be safer when human drivers are taken out of the equation.

Opponents of the regulations point out that, at present, there is currently no data available to back up the claim that self-driving cars will make the roads safer. Furthermore, opponents argue that this legislation makes public roads available to automakers as private laboratories without due protection to the public.

Copyright © 2022 by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume VII, Number 236
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

About this Author

Doneld Shelkey, Technology attorney, Morgan Lewis
Partner

Doneld G. Shelkey represents clients in global outsourcing, commercial contracts, and licensing matters, with a particular focus on the e-commerce and electronics entertainment industries. Doneld assists in the negotiation of commercial transactions for domestic and international manufacturers, technology innovators, and retailers, and counsels clients in the e-commerce and electronics entertainment industries on consumer licensing and virtual property matters.

617 341 7599
Cindy L. Dole, Morgan Lewis, Technology IP Lawyer, Finance matters Attorney
Associate

Cindy L. Dole collaborates with clients at the intersection of technology, intellectual property (IP), and finance. In her technology-based transactional practice, she advises on matters including corporate partnering, open source software strategy, distribution and sales arrangements, cloud computing, and other electronic commerce (e-commerce). Additionally, Cindy helps companies develop and implement IP strategy in connection with financings, mergers, acquisitions, and initial public offerings (IPOs). 

650.843.7563
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement