I recently co-authored an article entitled: “Start your Engines: Driverless Vehicles on Wisconsin Roadways,” which was featured in Wisconsin Lawyer, a magazine published monthly by the Wisconsin State Bar. Although the article is tailored to lawyers, a number of points in the article have relevance to businesses, municipal officials and professionals invested in the autonomous vehicle market place.
Here are the top four points to consider from this article:
1. Need for Federal Guidance. The lack of federal statutes to create a uniform road map for the roles of states and local governments to regulate the testing of these vehicles is creating legal confusion in the marketplace.
2. Impacts on Accident Litigation. Accident litigation will be transformed by the introduction of Autonomous Vehicles on our roadways. Existing liability standards must be modified, both in the short term for an era that can be described as the “messy middle” (the intersection of the AV and the driver worlds) and eventually for a fully AV world.
3. Vehicle to Signage Connections. Roadway-related technology will create additional liability concerns. Although a fully AV world is years away, vehicle to sign information technology is beginning to be introduced in the market place. These new emerging connected signage features will create challenging liability issues for defects in signage/vehicle connections related to accidents.
4. Parking/Zoning Impacts. Future real estate development/parking requirement will need to be modified for the future AV world. In urban areas, municipal officials will need to consider flexible long-term approaches when reviewing development projects given the perceived reduced need for parking when centralized fleet operators such as Lyft and Uber offer “on-demand” AVs.
If you are interested in more information on this topic, the full article can be accessed here.