Connected and Autonomous Vehicles - DAC Beachcroft
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Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

As we gear-up for what has been coined ‘the fourth industrial revolution’, developments to support the safe introduction, operation and regulation of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) are accelerating at an unprecedented rate.

Data and technology lie at the heart of CAVs. Vehicle efficiency and road safety depend on the collection and analysis of vast amounts of driving data, and CAVs connect to other digital technology and wireless networks to interact with other vehicles and navigate safely.

What we do

DAC Beachcroft is actively involved in driving forward and shaping the legal reforms essential for the operation of this new technology on our roads. We continue to be an active voice in Government and industry consultations, and we are working closely with major insurers to develop new insurance products that address the liability challenges arising from CAVs.

The reliance of CAVs on data and technology raises a wide range of new legal issues such as:

  • Regulation – the regulation of CAVs including road safety testing, ongoing operational monitoring and maintenance, and the adaption of road rules.
  • Data protection – privacy issues resulting from how CAV-related data is collected, stored, used and owned.
  • Cyber security and data breach – the vulnerability of CAV data and the digital technology used to connect these vehicles to cyberattack and data breach.
  • Liability and insurance – how liability for road accidents is to be apportioned between manufacturer and driver where a vehicle is highly or fully automated? What if an accident is caused by a design defect, a cyberattack on the digital hardware or software, or an internet outage?
  • Physical and network infrastructure – how CAVs will interact with related infrastructure and the changes needed to support the integration of new technologies to support vehicle-to-infrastructure connectivity.
  • Collaboration and cooperation between car manufacturers and digital technology providers-parties – opportunities for new commercial relationships given the third-party expertise needed to connect CAVs to the Internet of Things.
  • Protection of Intellectual Property – IP ownership issues arising from the convergence of car manufacturers and technology industries.

We are well placed to advise on the broad spectrum of legal issues arising from the development of CAVs. Our CAV team combines legal experts from across our business and including Regulatory & Compliance, Motor Liability, Data Protection & Cyber, Infrastructure, Product Liability, Intellectual Property, Corporate, and Dispute Resolution teams.