Lawyering Up for Autonomy – Technologue

– MOTOR TREND, JAN 1 2015, FEAT. PROF. BRYANT WALKER SMITH:

The Intelligent Transportation Systems community gathered in Detroit in September to kick around the big issues confronting connected and autonomous vehicles, and two panel discussions on the topic of liability concerns caught my eye. I secured a press pass, grabbed a seat front and center, and learned a little more about the legal landscape these technologies will be entering.

Most panelists agreed that vehicle autonomy is now a question of when, not if, as attested by forecasts such as one by Boston-based Lux Research predicting that the technology will become an $87 billion business by 2030. The experts identified the benefits: greatly increased safety, mobility for current non-drivers, reduction of congestion with platooning, and reduced fuel consumption. And they outlined costs and risks: the potential for increased congestion if car travel becomes too easy, dramatic reduction in public transportation usage, and other economic disruptions such as less crash damage to repair.

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