Protecting IP, Finding Investors, Navigating Legislation Drive Discussion at Foley’s Emerging Automotive Technologies Program

Fully connected and self-driving cars are here. Improvements to alternative energy sources for vehicles continue to advance at a rapid pace. The automotive industry is potentially facing dramatic new legal and regulatory challenges. And the road ahead shows no signs of slowing down.

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Supply Chain Disruptions Reportedly Increased by 30 Percent Last Year

supply chain

According to a report by JLT Specialty, the automotive industry “was the most disrupted sector in 2017” with an increase in supply chain disruptions by 30 percent over 2016.  The JLT report identified the top five supply chain events as:

  • Factory Fires or Explosions
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Hurricanes, Typhoons, Cyclones
  • Business Sales or Spin-offs
  • Labor Strike or Disruptions

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Carrot or Stick: Strategies Successfully Encouraging EV Adoption

batteries

In 2017, for the first time ever, Norway registered more electric and hybrid vehicles than traditional vehicles with internal combustion engines.  Even in the United States, as of May Tesla’s Model 3 became the best selling vehicle in its segment, regardless of powertrain, beating out traditional stalwarts from the traditional German luxury marques.  However, with all of the incentives surrounding EVs, it is important to take stock in the externalities driving consumers toward larger-scale EV adoption.  The following is a list of some perks (“carrots”) and punishments (“sticks”) being implemented to encourage this shift.

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Gauging Reactions: MCity Shuttle Launch Kicks-Off Autonomous Vehicle Behavioral Study 

autonomous shuttle

On Monday, June 4, two fully automated shuttles began regular shuttle service on streets surrounding the University of Michigan North Campus Research Complex in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The 11-passenger, all-electric Autonom shuttles are produced by French firm Navya and have previously been rolled out in limited last-mile applications around the globe. However, Monday’s launch marks the first time a college campus has deployed driverless shuttles on public roads to transport students, faculty, and staff. In addition to serving as a case study on the growing applications for driverless vehicles, the MCity Shuttle study will focus primarily on the way in which passengers and others react to the shuttle as a way to gauge consumer acceptance of the technology.

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NTSB Preliminary Report Reminds That Driver Error Persists

crash

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently issued its preliminary report concerning the March 18, 2018 incident in Tempe, Arizona in which a pedestrian was struck and killed by a Volvo XC90 sport utility vehicle equipped with self-driving capabilities. The vehicle was part of Uber’s autonomous vehicle pilot program.  The program was suspended by Arizona’s governor following the incident.

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