Eversheds Sutherland Up to Speed Blog
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Automation’s Impact Across A Wide Range of Industries

It is becoming clear that the development of autonomous vehicles will have implications beyond the automotive industry alone. In a recent article, Mike Nelson and Trevor Satnick of Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP provide insight into those implications with regard to areas such as auto insurance, ethical issues, big data, urban and suburban planning, and artificial intelligence. For example, the article posits that individuals in the future may be able to hail autonomous vehicles the same way they currently hail an Uber or Lyft ride. If so, the availability of such services could change the...
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The FTC and NHTSA Plan Workshop on Vehicles and Cybersecurity

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are hosting a public workshop to discuss consumer privacy issues posed by technological developments in vehicles, particularly those with some form of wireless connectivity. The potential dangers to consumers from such connected vehicles are significant, as one estimate provides that by 2020 autonomous vehicles will generate about 4,000 gigabytes of data a day (about as much data as is generated by 3000 individuals through their computers and other devices). The workshop will cover what data should...
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University of Michigan White Paper Aims to Build Accelerated Evaluation Processes for Autonomous Vehicles

The University of Michigan recently published a white paper aimed at accelerating the development of autonomous vehicles through more efficient testing processes. The paper identifies a significant problem in getting autonomous vehicles on the road: how to develop tests to accurately represent real-world driving situations? The approach suggested by the paper essentially focuses on “break[ing] down difficult real-world driving situations into components that can be tested or simulated repeatedly.” According to the paper, the suggested approach will cut the time to evaluate safety...
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Texas Law Permits Free Operation of Autonomous Vehicles

A bill recently signed in Texas, which becomes effective in September, allows autonomous vehicles to operate freely on state roads–without a driver’s supervision. The law requires the autonomous vehicles to be in compliance with federal laws and safety standards, to be registered with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, to be covered by insurance, and to have a recording system. The law is part of an effort to foster innovation and prepare for developments in autonomous vehicles. With the passing of this bill, Texas became one of eighteen states that have passed autonomous...
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Maine Passes Bill Mandating Shop Choice Disclosure for Insurers

Both houses of Maine’s legislature have passed a bill specifying language an insurer must use in recommending auto body shops.  According to the bill, titled an Act to Protect Consumers’ Freedom of Choice in Auto Collision Repairs, an insurer must say the allowing if recommending a particular shop or network of shops to a customer: “You have the legal right to choose a motor vehicle collision repair shop to fix your vehicle.  Your policy will cover the reasonable costs of repairing your vehicle to its pre-accident condition no matter where you have you repairs made.”    The bill now goes to...
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Artificial Intelligence: Not Just for Driving

Could artificial intelligence be coming to an insurance company near you? Some insurers are beginning to explore the use of “chatbots” and other forms of AI to assist in the claims and underwriting process. In the auto claims context, a bot could be used to connect to the electronic devices in a connected car and transmit information directly to the insurer. It could also be used to assist customers with simple matters, such as updating them on the status of a claim. In the underwriting context, a chatbot could walk customers through the quote...
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New Regulations for Ride-Sharing in New York

New York’s Governor Cuomo has announced new regulations governing ride-sharing in the state. The regulations require that certain information be provided in the ride-sharing app to protect customers, including a photo of the driver, information about the vehicle, the vehicle’s license plate number, and the fare or estimated fare for the trip. To be licensed, ride-sharing companies must submit an application, initial fees, and annual renewal fees. They must also hold liability insurance of $1.25 million per accident and must provide workers’ compensation coverage for drivers. Drivers...
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Updated Federal Guidelines for Autonomous Vehicles

The Trump Administration will be revising federal guidelines governing self-driving vehicles in the coming months.  Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao stated that the new rules were intended to support innovation, new entrants into the market, and safer vehicles; however, she did not specify what the new rules would provide. Some industry participants have expressed concerns about the requirements of the prior administration’s automated vehicle guidelines.  Those range from concerns about providing data on program development to concerns about states establishing mandatory...
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Videocast: Automated Transportation’s Legal and Ethical Risks

As currently written, our laws are not well-equipped to handle the increase in automated vehicles on the road. Moreover, the law and ethics often differ, and doing the safe thing on the road could cause a human to drive illegally. Would an autonomous vehicle drive faster than the speed limit if it needed to, drive at all if a loose gas cap turned on a check engine light, or execute the safest route around an obstacle if it meant breaking the rules of the road? In their videocast Automated Transportation’s Legal and Ethical Risks, Eversheds Sutherland (US) Partner Jason McCarter and Eversheds...
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Videocast: Cybersecurity and IP Issues with Internet of Things Devices in Autonomous Vehicles

Automated driving is not coming – it’s here. The entire automotive industry is implementing strategies, tools and technologies to not only allow the car to drive, but to operate using Internet of Things devices. In their videocast, Cybersecurity and IP Issues with Internet of Things Devices in Autonomous Vehicles, Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP Partners Mary Jane Wilson-Bilik and Griff Griffin discuss the Internet of Things and how it will impact big data, cybersecurity and data protection, and intellectual property and...
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Videocast: Insurance and Automated Transportation

The question isn’t whether automated technology will impact the auto insurance industry, but how big that disruption will be and when that disruption will happen. In their videocast, Insurance and Automated Transportation, Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP Partner Kymberly Kochis and Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP Partner Fabian Volz discuss numerous ways the insurance industry will be impacted by automated technology.
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NY DFS Proposes New Reg for Auto Insurers

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has released a proposed regulation aimed at prohibiting the use of education and occupation as underwriting criteria.  The proposal comes after a DFS investigation found some auto insurers in New York use a driver’s education level and/or occupational status as an underwriting factor, landing those drivers in a less-favorable initial tier placement.  According to a media release issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo, under the proposed regulation auto insurers would not be able to use educational and occupational status in their insurance...
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Videocast: The Future of Artificial Intelligence: Autonomous Vehicles and Beyond

Companies and consumers need to truly understand the impact of embracing artifical intelligence, including that the rate of auto-related deaths will be lowered drastically, how our overall transportation, commerce and quality of life will be improve and that AI is a reality today and will become far more advanced with each passing year.  These issues are discussed in The Future of Artificial Intelligence: Autonomous Vehicles and Beyond, a videocast by Eversheds Sutherland (US) Partner Michael Nelson and Eversheds Sutherland (International) Partner Charlotte...
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Transportation Disrupted: Artificial Intelligence in the Driver’s Seat

On May 3, 2017, Eversheds Sutherland hosted a symposium on the future of automated vehicles.  Topics included the legal and ethical risks, the insurance implications, and the data and IP issues arising from the shift to automated technology and the connected car. The conference opened with remarks by Vinn White, the former Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy.  Mr. White set the stage, outlining key trends in the automotive industry and the steps the previous administration had taken to prepare for driverless cars.  He also articulated many of the policy questions raised by the new...
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