White Paper | Technical Advancements and the Legal Considerations of Autonomous Vehicles


The concept of commercial autonomous vehicles, also referred to as AVs, is not new. Indeed, ships and aircraft have been equipped with some level of autonomous operation for decades. But only recent technological advances have made it possible to develop and implement sophisticated autonomous driving functionality in wheel-driven vehicles. The market reflects the opportunities associated with these new AV technologies. Over the past decade, the AV market has been one of the most rapidly growing markets in the automotive industry. According to IHS Markit, more than 33 million AVs will be sold annually as early as 2040, which is more than 26 percent of new car sales. Allied Market Research indicates that the AV market is expected to grow from $54 billion in 2019 to $557 billion in 2026.

The development and implementation of AV technologies are complex and present a broad range of technological and regulatory challenges. In addition, automotive manufacturers and integrators face legal obstacles, such as the protection of their intellectual property (patents, copyrights, and trade secrets), data privacy and security, and product liability.

This paper provides an overview of the AV industry and discusses some of the legal challenges associated with the development and implementation of AV technologies.

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