Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

09/10/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/11/2019 13:33

Akin Gump Lawyers Examine Recent Autonomous Vehicle Policy Developments for Daily Journal

Daily Journal has published the article 'Recent Federal Policy Developments Concerning Autonomous Vehicles,' written by Natasha Kohne, co-leader of Akin Gump's cybersecurity, privacy and data protection practice; Susan Lent, co-leader of the firm's infrastructure practice; and litigation counsel Diana Schaffner. The article looks at some of the latest developments that may influence federal autonomous vehicle (AV) policy, including 'markups of relevant fiscal measures, solicitation of comments on AV-related issues and discussions among lawmakers regarding potential legislation.'

Kohne, Lent and Schaffner begin by noting that, while efforts to pass federal AV legislation have so far been unsuccessful, activity at the state level has been busy. At the end of last year, they write, 29 states had enacted legislation relating to autonomous vehicles, covering 'everything from insurance to cybersecurity,' leading to 'a growing patchwork of state laws.'

The article outlines some of the activity this summer among different congressional committees in Washington. It also describes two recent notices of regulatory rulemaking, which the authors say are an indication the Department of Transportation (DOT) is considering changes to regulations 'that may ease or remove restrictions that assume the involvement of a human driver.' Combined with several other recent DOT proposals, these developments, the authors, write, 'point to the possibility of movement with regard to federal AV policy in the coming months and year,' making for 'an exciting period for the AV industry.'