Kevin Cadwell Quoted in Law360 Article on Auto Regulations to Watch in Second Half of 2018

In anticipation of new developments in the second half of 2018 pertaining to automotive regulation, Akin Gump intellectual property partner Kevin Cadwell spoke with Law360 for the article “Automotive Regulation To Watch: Midyear Report.” New rules, the article reports, are expected governing the rollout of self-driving vehicles, greenhouse gas emissions and U.S. trade relations.

The article says several states are currently devising new rules to test and deploy autonomous vehicles. Meanwhile, the federal government is working on a comprehensive regulatory framework governing how such cars can be designed and operated.

“There’s a tension between the desire to regulate for largely safety reasons — to set up some sort of a framework of regulations so that we all know what the rules are [and] what the liability is — and at the same time not quash development,” Cadwell said.

“So far, states and the federal [government] have largely taken a deregulatory approach, which is the feds saying, ‘States, I’m going to let you guys figure out what you’re doing on a state-by-state level,’” Cadwell added. “The issue, as we get these high-profile accidents, is there are more calls for some sort of national framework.”

The article notes that California, which is proceeding with its own self-driving car regulations, recently began permitting autonomous cars to be tested on public roads for the first time without anyone in the driver’s seat. It will also allow self-driving cars to pick up passengers from ride-hailing services for the first time.

Cadwell said that if other states follow suit, “and show the feds that the states are taking care of these issues, that actually may take some pressure off of federal momentum toward regulations. If the states pick up the slack and show initiative like we're seeing California do, that actually could really spur toward keeping the federal regulations on a more laissez-faire level.”