Eversheds Sutherland Up to Speed Blog
content top

Indonesia Requires Registration of Ride-Hailing Companies

The government of Indonesia recently announced that ride-hailing companies in that country could not be registered as technology companies, but must be registered as transportation companies.  This transition would give more protection to the companies’ drivers.  Currently, the regulation applies only to cars, but motorcycle-taxi drivers would like the rules to be expanded for their protection as well.  The biggest companies affected by the change are Go-Jek and Grab, the latter of which recently acquired the southeast Asian business of...
Continue Reading

Self-Driving Trucks on the Road in Arizona

Uber recently revealed that it has been operating self-driving trucks to carry shipments for commercial customers in Arizona. The company has two transfer hubs on opposite sides of the state. According to the company, the self-driving trucks operate between transfer hubs: for example, a regular truck will deliver a shipment to a transfer hub, where an Uber self-driving truck (with a human driver inside, for now) will pick up the trailer. The self-driving truck will then take the shipment to the other transfer hub, and a regular truck will pick it up and deliver it to the final destination....
Continue Reading

Trade Wars and European Cars

President Trump has threatened to impose a 25% tariff on European cars imported to the United States. The United States currently imposes a 2.5% tariff on foreign cars, and a 25% tariff on foreign trucks and commercial vans, while the European Union charges as 10% tariff on cars from the United States. The President complained about the tariffs imposed by the European Union and the effect on business in the United States. However, it remains to be seen whether these or any tariffs on imported automobiles will actually go into...
Continue Reading

Driving Through Red Lights — Coming Soon?

The Utah legislature may soon be voting on a bill that would allow drivers to run a red light. More accurately, the bill would allow drivers to drive through a red light after stopping and safely looking in all directions to confirm no other vehicles, cyclists, or pedestrians are coming. A similar law allows bicycles to run red lights in certain circumstances. The Utah Department of Transportation opposes the bill, however, arguing that it is unsafe for drivers to go through a red light and that signals on state roads are able to detect vehicles waiting at the...
Continue Reading

Study Finds Americans Still Wary of Autonomous Vehicles

In a recent Gallup poll, nearly 60% of the more than 3,000 survey participants said they would be uncomfortable riding in an autonomous vehicle. Survey participants were even more reluctant to share the road with driverless trucks, with nearly 70% stating that they would be uneasy. The responses varied by age, with those over 66 least likely to accept autonomous vehicles. Nearly 70% of those over age 66 said that they would be unlikely to use an autonomous vehicle, compared only 41% of millennials. For the time being, companies working on autonomous vehicles are investing heavily in research...
Continue Reading

Auto Insurance Rates Increasing?

According to insurance shopping website The Zebra, auto insurance rates have increased significantly in recent years – by 20% since 2011. According to the Insurance Information Institute, rates have risen 15% in the past two years, during which time insurance company profits have declined. Some of these increases are likely due to weather events, such as the several hurricanes in 2016. Other factors might include increased severity of crashes and more distracted drivers on the road. Interestingly, The Zebra also found that insurance rates have not appreciably decreased for participants in...
Continue Reading

Roads Remain Dangerous Places

The National Safety Council has stated that there were approximately 40,100 traffic-related fatalities in 2017, which was “near decade-high levels.” Although cars have gotten safer – over 20% of 2017 model year vehicles had some form of advanced driver assistance systems – traffic deaths increased sharply in 2016 and remained near that level last year. Some of the potential reasons for the high level of fatalities might include distracted driving, as well as drug and alcohol use. It should be noted that the National Safety Council figures are generally different than figures released by the...
Continue Reading

Waymo and Uber Settle Trade Secret Lawsuit

On the fifth day of trial over alleged trade secret misappropriation, Waymo and Uber announced that they had reached a settlement, and the case was dismissed with prejudice. According to reports, as part of the settlement, Waymo obtained an equity stake in Uber, valued at approximately $245 million. The settlement encompasses both hardware and software trade secrets.
Continue Reading

Driverless Vehicles and Real Estate

The advent of self-driving cars will certainly transform transportation and, in turn, the auto insurance market. But other industries are also likely to be affected by self-driving technology. A recent article contends that once driverless cars come into use, real estate may no longer be “all about location, location, location.” The ability to commute in autonomous vehicles may drive sprawl, as workers will be able to do other things on their way to work. Some believe that urban space may be freed by decreased need for parking lots (though presumably even driverless cars will need to be...
Continue Reading

Senate Commerce Committee Holds Hearing on Auto Innovation

This week, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held a field hearing on “Driving Automotive Innovation and Federal Policies.” Chairman John Thune gave the opening statement, stating that automated vehicles and new business models, driven by technological advancements, are “poised to enable substantial growth.” Chairman Thune pointed to various benefits of these developments, including safety, new jobs, reduced traffic congestion, and increased mobility for disabled and elderly Americans. Chairman Thune also recognized the economic impact of...
Continue Reading

D.C. Department of Insurance to Hold Public Hearing on Insurance Premiums

On January 30, 2018, the D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking is expected to hold a public hearing to cover a variety of issues impacting private auto insurance, including topics like price optimization and the use of credit scores in underwriting. More broadly, the hearing is intended to examine the causes of recent increases in auto insurance premium rates in D.C., and to identify ways to improve costs, provide greater transparency, and increase the availability of auto insurance. The Department also aims to hear comments regarding  price optimization and rating models....
Continue Reading

Your Self-Driving Pizza Is on the Way

Pizza Hut and Toyota have announced a partnership to develop fully autonomous delivery vehicles. The self-driving concept vehicle shown at the Consumer Electronics Show could support pizza delivery or even pizza making, potentially serving as a “mobile kitchen.” Pizza Hut has suggested that driverless vehicles could also open a door to job opportunities for people who do not own vehicles. In the meantime, Pizza Hut and Toyota will also test dual communication technology that allows Pizza Hut to capture data on its delivery drivers’ patterns and behaviors. Domino’s Pizza, too, has been...
Continue Reading

Some Predictions for Auto Insurance in 2018

The CEO of telematics company TrueMotion recently predicted that 2018 would see some changes in the auto insurance industry. He predicts that customer experience will become paramount for insurance companies, likely meaning a change in claims, among other things. Carriers will increase their use of usage-based insurance and mobile telematics. And “consumers, regulators, and insurers” will do more to try to reduce distracted driving. He also questions the timeframe in which connected and self-driving cars would hit the market, but predicts that auto insurers will begin looking to smartphone...
Continue Reading

NHTSA Says Canadian Cars Meeting Canadian Safety Standards Can Be Imported to the US

The NHTSA recently issued a notice of a final decision to allow Canadian-made vehicles that comply with Canadian standards—but which do not comply with US safety standards—can be imported into the US. The decision applies to a variety of Canadian vehicles manufactured on or after September 1, 2017, and extends through September 1, 2022. The specific manufacturers or models have not yet been identified, only the applicable safety features. The applicable safety features include transmission sequence requirements, windshield defrosting and defogging systems, tire selections, rollaway...
Continue Reading