Eversheds Sutherland Up to Speed Blog
content top

Colorado Senate Passes Autonomous Vehicle Bill

The Colorado Senate has passed a bill establishing a general framework for autonomous vehicle regulation.  The draft legislation, Senate Bill 213, requires driverless vehicles to be “capable of complying with every state and federal law” applicable to the vehicle.  Non-compliant vehicles must coordinate testing with the Colorado Department of Transportation and State Patrol. Opponents of the bill criticized it as lightweight, as there are currently no state and federal laws in existence to which the driverless vehicle must comply. They also note the omission of National Highway...
Continue Reading

Test Driving Mobileye’s Autonomous Vehicle

Mobileye, an Israeli tech company, is one of the leading companies in developing autonomous vehicles and was recently purchased by Intel for $15 billion. It provides Advanced Assistance Systems for two dozen international automobile manufacturers, and has its own prototype. This prototype, which is not fully self-driving, has eight cameras and an interior filled with laptop, satellite receivers, and other high-tech devices. In a test drive with a Washington Post journalist, the prototype drove at 50 mph on highways—accelerating, braking, and changing lanes. According to Mobileye’s CEO Ziv...
Continue Reading

Trump Signals Rollback on EPA Vehicle Regulations

The Trump administration, in conjunction with new EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, is expected to begin dismantling regulations on vehicle pollution and other policies related to global warming. Specifically, the administration is expected to rollback regulations governing tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions and to revoke California’s waiver to enforce even stricter tailpipe standards. These policy changes come after a coalition of 17 US auto companies told the administration in two letters to Pruitt that standards under the Obama administration were too technical, burdensome, and costly....
Continue Reading

Tesla Considering All-Inclusive Packages

Tesla is now contemplating an all-inclusive package, wherein the price of the car would include insurance and maintenance during the duration of ownership. In fact, Tesla’s Asian customers are offered a package that already covers certain car ownership expenses. Those packages include a customized insurance product that covers Autopilot and maintenance costs. The deals do not exclude insurers—for now, Tesla is looking at external insurance companies to provide the...
Continue Reading

DOT Designates 10 Driverless Car Testing Sites

The U.S. Department of Transportation has designated ten “proving grounds” to encourage the safe testing of driverless vehicles. These testing areas, which were chosen from a pool of more than sixty applicants, encompass a diverse geographic area, ranging from Pittsburgh to San Diego.  The groups operating the sites will collaborate on best practices for the safe testing and operation of autonomous vehicles.
Continue Reading

Britain Proposes New Framework Autonomous Vehicle Insurance

The British government has announced that it will consider new regulations to guarantee victims of accidents involving self-driving cars timely compensation in an effort to clear one of the largest obstacles to automated driving technology. Regulators and insurers have grappled with how to determine the ultimate liability for accidents, slowing the roll out of the technology. In an effort to address this issue, Britain will introduce a framework for insurance geared towards the new technology, likely in the form of a single insurance product that will provide coverage for a driver when a...
Continue Reading

Dual Insurance for Driverless Cars?

The UK Department for Transport is expected to announce that owners of self-driving cars will be required to take out “two-in-one” insurance policies. These policies would cover the driver if a human is driving the vehicle, and would also cover the car when it is operated in driverless mode. The insurer issuing the policy would then be able to recover costs for claims on driverless accidents from the responsible party, such as the manufacturer. The reasoning behind such “two-in-one” insurance policies is to allow an accident victim to obtain compensation without having to determine...
Continue Reading

Plaintiffs’ Attorneys Contend Courts Should Determine Liability for Accidents Involving Driverless Cars

A plaintiffs’ attorney group, the American Association for Justice, has issued a report on self-driving cars. The report identifies safety issues arising from development of semi- and fully-autonomous cars, and – not surprisingly – argues that liability for accidents and injuries should be determined in the courts. It opposes some regulatory proposals that would govern driverless cars, including no-fault insurance systems, self-regulation of the auto industry, immunity for manufacturers of autonomous vehicles, and governance through federal rather than state...
Continue Reading

What the Banking Industry Expects from Connected Cars

The American Banker recently looked at ways in which the connected car might affect not only the roads, but the finance world as well. People might be able to make “truly mobile-payments” as they go through toll booths, visit a drive-through, or stop for gas. Fully autonomous vehicles might even make purchases without human involvement. Customers might also be able to do their banking through the car, perhaps using a voice-activated “smart assistant.” As the sharing economy becomes more predominant, auto financing may need to adjust to keep up with new ownership models. However, the...
Continue Reading

Nevada Becomes Latest State to Address Price Optimization

Nevada’s insurance commissioner recently issued a bulletin relating to price optimization. The bulletin reminds property and casualty insurers that their underwriting and rating models must be filed with the division of insurance for approval. This includes models based on credit information or models using a mathematical algorithm. It also specifically includes “any ‘price optimization’ models that an insurer might use to determine the extent to which a selected relativity moves toward the indicated relativity. Such models may not utilize any non-risk-based attributes such as price...
Continue Reading

Collision Demonstrates Tesla Model S Safety Features

A recent accident involved a Tesla Model S being rear-ended by a tractor trailer on the highway. The driver reported no injuries, though the the rear of the Tesla and the front of the tractor trailer were heavily damaged. ...
Continue Reading

Uber Signs Deal With German Automaker Daimler AG

Uber Technologies Inc. has partnered with Germany’s Daimler AG, the maker of Mercedes-Benz vehicles and the first automaker to sign a deal with Uber, in its attempt to build a fleet of autonomous vehicles. Although Uber has devoted many resources to developing autonomous vehicles, deals with auto makers are “crucial” to the company because it has no experience in manufacturing. This deal, in which Daimler will incorporate its autonomous vehicles into Uber’s fleet, comes nearly a year after reports that Uber had placed a long-term order with Daimler for approximately 100,000 S-Class...
Continue Reading

NADA Releases Automotive Privacy Guide

The National Auto Dealers Association recently release a guide regarding consumer privacy and data collection in modern cars. The guide, titled “Personal Data In Your Car,” covers the different ways data from vehicle operators is collected, used, and shared. Data has been collected for years through Event Data Recorders and On-Board Diagnostic ports, but the report identifies multiple new technologies that track additional data, such as location information, external information, in-cabin information, user recognition, app usage, and more. Regarding this data, most automakers have...
Continue Reading

New Book Recommends Regulators take a Proactive Approach to Driverless Cars

In their new book, Driverless: Intelligent Cars and the Road Ahead, Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman state that government must expend considerable resources in crafting meaningful regulation: A driverless license is a good start, but a significant amount more research and exploration of regulatory oversight is needed. Ideally, the highest levels of the government should adopt a proactive, rather than reactive, approach. For example, legal experts need to examine and possibly revamp liability laws to clarify who, exactly, is at fault in a driverless accident. Car insurance will need to be...
Continue Reading