A driverless future is rapidly approaching. Advances in technology are paving the way for supercharged computers on wheels that can navigate cities, survey lands, travel across freeways, aid in military operations, and move passengers and goods with unprecedented efficiency and safety. Projections show that, by 2030, autonomous vehicles (AV) may rule the roads and skies.
In a world of driverless cars, questions abound:
- Who is the operator of the vehicle? The person sitting in the driver’s seat? The carmaker? The company that created the autonomous technology?
- What new regulations will emerge, and what will the practical implications be?
- How do we protect users from data and cybersecurity threats that arise as more consumers embrace AV technology?
- Who owns the intellectual property? Does liability necessarily follow ownership?
In this ever-changing landscape, the winners in the AV race will successfully navigate three critical phases: development, testing and deployment.
New alliances are emerging as technology companies team with traditional automakers, parts manufacturers, unmanned aerial systems companies, shipping firms and ride-hailing services—all in pursuit of the upper hand in the next age of the vehicle.
As the AV world develops, questions arise and new alliances form, bringing with them legal issues that require forward looking counsel and collaboration across a variety of previously unrelated legal disciplines.
We are dedicated to addressing the legal issues arising out of the AV space. The hallmarks of our AV team are an innovative spirit in approaching uncharted spaces and an ability to draw upon industry experience from the firm’s practices and offices around the world. Our interdisciplinary team understands the sector’s inherent complexity from multiple vantage points, effectively advancing the goals of our clients in this emerging marketplace.
Our global practice provides sophisticated legal counsel in all aspects of these interconnected enterprises, including:
- navigating the ever-changing landscape of government involvement and regulation of companies and technology
- supporting strategic partnerships between companies across all segments of the AV industry to aid in the development, placement and implementation of technology
- offering a range of risk and legal advocacy services to ensure that clients are legally prepared to face disputes that arise from issues including products liability, intellectual property, and data privacy and cybersecurity
- representing public and private companies, prominent investment funds, boards of directors and special committees, investors and senior management in sophisticated transactions.