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JONES DAY PRESENTS®: AV 4.0 and the Future of Autonomous Vehicles

Jones Day partner Jeff Jones talks about Ensuring American Leadership in Automated Vehicle Technologies: Automated Vehicles 4.0. Stakeholders are taking a particular interested in this U.S. Department of Transportation guidance, as it was produced to protect autonomous vehicle users, promote efficient markets and guard intellectual property, and coordinate industry standards.

 

Read the full transcript below:

Jeff Jones:

AV 4.0 is guidance that was issued by the Department of Transportation and the National Science and Technology Council, which is part of the White House. They have issued this guidance to the industry, and consumers, and other folks around the country to try to help promote autonomous vehicle technology, and the development of tools that will enable it to grow and expand.

Jeff Jones:

4.0 guidance has a set of general principles. There are 10 overall, but they're broken down into three main parts. One is protecting users and communities, and so that focuses on safety and cybersecurity. One is promoting efficient markets, and part of that is focused on protecting intellectual property for American companies. And then you also have the third big principle, is coordination. And so, that's focused on trying to get a consistent set of standards through voluntary efforts, and at the federal level, trying to develop some coordinated approach as well.

Jeff Jones:

The guidance sort of makes the case that we should let technology develop a little farther before we pass legislation, and to some extent, that seems to be the current view from the legislative standpoint. The private companies are undertaking lots of efforts to communicate and share certain information with respect to autonomous vehicle technology, and you see that playing out in some of the different pilot programs that are taking place. But that is one of the interesting questions that faces both government and private companies, which is what platform will ultimately be used, and what amount of transparency will there be among all the private companies?

Jeff Jones:

You've seen similar things in our history. In the personal computer, you had all of these questions about how would the standardizations shake out? In the cell phone industry, you had sort of similar concepts in play. How were these technologies ultimately going to shake out in a standardized way, such that people could then use them going forward? And you see those kinds of activities taking place now with autonomous vehicles. You have the ridesharing companies, and that's obviously a great market, and then you have the more traditional automotive companies, and then you have all these other delivery systems, drones, robots, other means of taking things from point A to point B, and you're going to see tremendous activity all across the board with respect to those companies.

Jeff Jones:

A number of issues that we see coming from our clients and other entities are products liability, what rules are going to be applied, and how are they going to be implemented with respect to autonomous vehicle technology? One question you see more commonly is insurance. What kinds of insurance coverage will they need? How will they need to apply it? One thing you see is cybersecurity obviously is a big question mark, and something that companies are very focused on solving with respect to each technology.

Jeff Jones:

With respect to the future, I think you're going to see projects coming into place on a specific geographic area. So for example, you have ridesharing that's fully developed for a given city. And people will go to those cars, they will pick the car that they want, they'll pick the location that they want to go to. The car will come, no one will be in it, and it will take them to where they're going. That's the kind of thing I think you're going to see in the short term. And then you'll have delivery systems that I think are going to be probably in the short term as well, where people are using robotics or autonomous vehicle technology to deliver your groceries, because you don't necessarily care how they get there, you just want the groceries.

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