The Open Road Automotive Law Blog

News and analysis of legal issues affecting the Automotive Industry

The Open Road features legal thought leaders from all areas of the transportation economy including corporate transactions, products liability and class actions, insurance regulation, environmental compliance, and supply chain management. As the automotive sector faces new challenges from international actors, technological innovations, and emerging business models, The Open Road will help insiders navigate the legal and regulatory issues facing the new automotive industry landscape.

Latest from The Open Road Automotive Law Blog

On November 25, 2019 the National Transportation Safety Board issued its final report on the March 2018 fatality accident in Tempe, Arizona, involving an autonomous vehicle and a pedestrian. NTSB’s position on the accident is that it came about because of a combination of an “inadequate safety culture” at the developer and “automation complacency,” which it describes as the failure of the human safety driver to “monitor an automation system for its failures.” It doesn’t…
The good news is that improved safety is far and away the predominant force behind development of advanced driving technologies. This is evident from the NHTSA’s latest Automated Vehicles 3.0, in which the word “safety” appears no less than 318 times. Industry has also prioritized safety as the race to commercialize autonomous driving technology will require, as a threshold matter, broad acceptance from the public in order to realize investment returns. Driverless vehicles promise…
Virginia may not be a state many people associate with autonomous technology, but it has quickly become an attractive locale for developers of this technology. Several autonomous technology companies have recently seen great advancements in the implementation of their technology in Virginia. WING, for example, a sister company of Google, recently celebrated its first successful aviation delivery of commercial products in Christiansburg, Virginia. The company, which has partnered with Walgreens and FedEx, uses drones to…
The automotive industry has long been a global market where manufacturers need to constantly monitor international laws and regulations. But as traditional automotive OEMs expand their product offerings to include services such as ride hailing, car sharing, and mapping, the legal risks are becoming increasingly localized. Cities, states, and provinces have begun to flex their muscle in response to the introduction of new mobility products and services. New York city has placed a cap on…
Currently, nearly all advanced automotive technologies operate under what are known as deterministic models. In a deterministic system, the outcome is dictated by a set of known initial conditions. These systems offer welcome predictability and repeatability. In contrast, probabilistic models yield different outcomes given the same initial condition, introducing an element of probability guided randomness. The latter model is considered necessary for autonomous vehicle functionality, but this is easier said than done. Each model type…
With the growth of the automotive loan market, which just this month has been the subject of examination by national publications such as the Wall Street Journal, has come a corresponding rise in auto loan delinquencies.  For automotive finance companies, auto repossessions represent a risk for affirmative claims by consumers both on an individual and, more significantly, on a class basis.  Recently, there has been an uptick in class actions against automotive finance companies…