As the race to deploy highly autonomous vehicles continues, the promise of a more ubiquitous presence of autonomous vehicles has led to a patchwork of regulations as states attempt to prepare for the inevitability of a self-driving car. Twenty-two states have either passed legislation related to autonomous vehicles or adopted regulations through a governor’s executive order. This patchwork of legislation ranges from the simple, such as authorizing a study on autonomous vehicles, to robust requirements for automated vehicles. As previously covered on Dashboard Insights, the Auto Industry has been advocating for federal (rather than state-by-state) regulation of autonomous vehicles, hoping to bring more consistency and to encourage innovation. On July 28th, the House Energy and Commerce Committee stepped into the mix by voting 54 – 0 to advance to the full House a bill known as the “Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment and Research In Vehicle Evolution Act” (“SELF DRIVE Act”), H.R. 3388. The SELF DRIVE Act would be the first major federal effort to regulate autonomous vehicles beyond the previously adopted “voluntary” guidelines.
Nearly one year ago, we wrote about auto loan delinquencies’ potential impact on the automotive industry. Now, car sales are falling and auto loan delinquencies are making headlines again, with a growing number of subprime loans falling into default. UBS reports that subprime default rates are reaching levels consistent with those just prior to the recession.
The steady adoption of connected, smart, and self-driving vehicles is not only changing the way consumers engage the road, but also the operations, go-to market strategy, and cyber preparedness of the entire automotive industry. Developments in this area present a significant business opportunity for automakers and technology companies, alongside a host of legal considerations. Against this backdrop, Foley is conducting a survey to gauge perspectives and attitudes on the current state and future of the global connected car market.
In late June, Senators Coons, Cotton, Durbin, and Hirono introduced the STRONGER Patents Act of 2017. The Act includes provisions that seek to heavily change the inter partes review and post-grant review processes. However, Sec. 108, which focuses on patent infringement, is the portion that may have the largest effect on hurting domestic automotive companies relative to their foreign counterparts.
A recent study published by AlixPartners estimates that for each car-sharing vehicle on the road, 32 personal vehicle purchases do not occur, which to date has resulted in 500,000 missed vehicle sales for automotive manufacturers. AlixPartners estimates that by 2020, automakers will miss out on an additional 1.2 million vehicle sales as a result of ride sharing systems as they begin to mature nationwide. As of 2016, 6 million people worldwide were using some form of shared-vehicle transportation and its projected that could grow to 30 million people by 2020.