Eversheds Sutherland Up to Speed Blog
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Six trillion is what the world has to spend for an electric car-only future

These days, electric cars can drive further and be charged faster than previously. Automakers are beginning to churn out at least one electric variant, with more than 100 battery-powered models to be available by next year. Does that mean the affordable car of the future has arrived? Sales numbers suggest it’s getting closer. Consumers bought more than one million electric vehicles last year, an increase of almost 60% from 2016, even as global car demand turned lower. China, with an aggressive green vehicle policy, accounts for almost half of worldwide electric passenger-car sales. The...
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New Jersey statute bars action due to uninsured driving

In Scholes v. Hausmann, No. A-0980-17T3 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 2018), the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division held that a New Jersey statute precluded recovery in a personal injury action. Plaintiff and Defendant were involved in an automobile accident in which Plaintiff sustained injuries. The vehicle he was driving was titled and registered in his name using his friend’s address in Florida, despite him living and working in New Jersey and garaging the vehicle in New Jersey. Plaintiff failed to obtain a New Jersey driver’s license or register his vehicle in New Jersey, and...
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Driverless car insurance uncertainty may lead to “litigation hell”

A recent S&P Global article highlighted that Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier thinks the industry has plenty to work out as the prospect of widespread autonomous vehicle adoption grows, especially the potential for a legal quagmire. Altmaier recounted his near-wreck experience riding inside an autonomous vehicle. After the vehicle’s operator switched on autopilot, the car ran off the interstate and nearly crashed into a ditch. The driver was able to take control of the wheel before an accident occurred and guided it back onto the road. Read the full article01.
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Austin, Texas, to test connected car technology within city

Austin has completed deployment of dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) technology at five city intersections following its entry into the US Department of Transportation’s signal phasing and timing (SPaT) challenge. This technology would allow connected cars to communicate in real-time with a traffic signal controller, increasing pedestrian and vehicle safety as part of the operations of a signalized intersection. This type of information will help future connected traffic signals and equipped vehicles to communicate about pedestrian or bicyclist presence in the intersection, improve...
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Used truck prices up 9% over last year

Record-setting orders for new Class 8 trucks are apparently not creating any type of used-truck glut, if used-truck prices are any indication. The average price of total used Class 8 trucks in September rose 3% month-over-month and fared even better, up 9% year-to-date, when compared to the first nine months of 2017, according to ACT Research. Read the analysis.
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General Motors calls on Trump administration to back nationwide electric vehicle program

General Motors said it wants the Trump administration to support a nationwide program to increase the sale of emission-free vehicles like electric cars, even as the government has proposed ending California’s ability to require more clean vehicles. GM says a nationwide program modeled on California’s effort could result in seven million electric vehicles, or EVs, on US roads by 2030. The largest US automaker said the requirements would not apply if “battery cost or infrastructure targets are not practicable within the time frame.” GM product chief Mark Reuss told reporters that governments...
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US/Mexico trade deal might impact trucks

Annex language attached to the freshly minted trade deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) paves the way for the US to limit how far Mexican trucks can transport goods into the US. The annex says the US “reserves the right” to limit “grants of authority for persons of Mexico to provide cross-border long-haul truck services” outside US border commercial zones, if those limitations “are required to address material harm or the threat of material harm to US suppliers, operators, or drivers.” Under the provision, “material harm” means a significant loss in the share of...
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Lawmakers question the EPA’s pro-glider kit study

Four members of a US House Committee have asked the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Inspector General to investigate the agency’s use of a study that claimed glider kit trucks do not produce harmful emissions at levels greater than trucks with new engines. The congressional letter was signed by Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), Don Beyer Jr. (D-Va.), Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) and Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.), members of the House’s Science, Space and Technology Committee. The EPA cited the study last year in a proposed rule that sought to exempt glider kits from emissions...
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After 10 million miles, Waymo’s cars are on another level

Recently, Waymo announced that its cars have crossed their 10 millionth driverless mile on public roads. On simulated roads, the company is fast approaching the 7 billion mile mark. Really, though, numbers don’t matter. It’s more about lessons learned, and Waymo has evolved to the point where its technology is now having to solve the kind of minutiae that wasn’t even on the radar back when this whole thing was still called the Google Self-Driving Car Project. Read the full article detailing Waymo’s...
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Eversheds Sutherland US Partner Discusses AV 3.0

Eversheds Sutherland (US) partner Mike Nelson discusses The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) and their new Federal guidance for automated vehicles: Preparing for the Future of Transportation: Automated Vehicles 3.0 (AV 3.0). In this video, Mike discusses elements of the report, including: The Federal regulatory scheme Modernizing outdated regulatory standards Voluntary self-assessments How stakeholders will interact with the USDOT Read the full...
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US Department of Transportation Releases “Preparing for the Future of Transportation: Automated Vehicles 3.0”

The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) released new Federal guidance for automated vehicles, advancing its commitment to supporting the safe integration of automation into the broad multimodal surface transportation system. ‘Preparing for the Future of Transportation: Automated Vehicles 3.0’ (AV 3.0) builds upon—but does not replace—voluntary guidance provided in ‘Automated Driving Systems 2.0: A Vision for Safety.’ “The safe integration of automated vehicle technology into our transportation system will increase productivity, facilitate freight movement and create new types of jobs,”...
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Nine cities with smart ideas to improve transportation

Transportation systems don’t just move people around—they can also be catalysts for moving cities forward. But too often, between state-level inertia and the lack of serious federal investment in infrastructure and public transportation efforts, US cities face gridlock when it comes to transportation reform. Hope tends to come from smaller-scale initiatives. In cities across the country, local politicians, transit advocates and commute-weary citizens are responding to the need for more sustainable, equitable, street-level transit solutions, delivering on promises to make daily commutes more...
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Swiss Re and BMW to jointly develop a new car insurance rating

Swiss Re and the BMW Group will jointly develop a new car insurance rating concept called the ADAS risk score to help insurers better price their motor insurance products for vehicles equipped with advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS). The new car insurance rating concept will take integration of safety-relevant driver assistance systems into account, said the BMW Group. The ADAS risk score is set to be launched in 2019 and will be a vehicle-specific insurance rating. For this rating, Swiss Re and BMW will develop an algorithm that can represent the complex effects of ADAS on the...
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Volkswagen in talks on self-driving car standards

Volkswagen is in talks with other carmakers to set common standards for self-driving vehicle technology, Automotive News reported. The Volkswagen Group is discussing the initiative with more than 15 potential partners, according to the report, which cited an anonymous company executive. It did not identify any of the other companies involved. Manufacturers including BMW have indicated that they would welcome common standards on aspects of self-driving cars including the configuration of their sensors. By merging such blueprints, they could hope to reduce costs as well as their individual...
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