This article identifies a series of specific questions that reporters can ask about claims made by developers of automated motor vehicles (“AVs”). Its immediate intent is to facilitate more critical, credible, and ultimately constructive reporting on progress toward automated driving. In turn, reporting of this kind advances three additional goals. First, it encourages AV developers to qualify and support their public claims. Second, it appropriately manages public expectations about these vehicles. Third, it fosters more technical accuracy and technological circumspection in legal and policy scholarship.
Articles & Essays
(Re)Writing the Rules of The Road: Reflections from the Journal of Law and Mobility’s 2019 Conference
Cite as: Raphael Beauregard-Lacroix, (Re)Writing the Rules of The Road: Reflections from the Journal of Law and Mobility’s 2019 Conference, 2019 J. L. & Mob. 97. Download Full Article On March 15th, 2019, the Journal of Law and Mobility, part of the University of Michigan’s Law and Mobility Program, presented its inaugural conference, entitled “(Re)Writing
The laws and regulations governing mobility are inconsistent and antiquated and should be modernized to encourage innovation as we prepare for an autonomous car future. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) has concluded that Autonomous Vehicles, or Highly Automated Vehicles (“HAVs”) may “prove to be the greatest personal transportation revolution since the popularization of the personal automobile nearly a century ago”. Preparation for a HAV world is underway as the mobility industry evolves and transforms itself at a remarkable pace. New mobility platforms are becoming more convenient, more automated and more data driven—all of which will facilitate the evolution to HAVs. However, that mobility revolution is hindered by an environment of older laws and regulations that are often incompatible with new models and platforms.
Let’s Be Reasonable: The Consumer Expectations Test Is Simply Not Viable to Determine Design Defect for Complex Autonomous Vehicle Technology
Although highly automated vehicles (“HAVs”) have potential to reduce deaths and injuries from traffic crashes, product liability litigation for design defects in vehicles incorporating autonomous technology is inevitable. During the early stages of implementation, courts and juries will be forced to grapple with the application of traditional product liability principles to a never before experienced category of highly technical products. Recent decisions limiting the use of the consumer expectations test in cases involving complex products prompted the authors to examine more closely the history behind and the future viability of the consumer expectations test in HAV litigation.
More than a quarter century after civil rights activists pioneered America’s first ridesharing network, the connections between transportation, innovation, and discrimination are again on full display. Industry leaders such as Uber, Amazon, and Waze have garnered widespread acclaim for successfully combatting stubbornly persistent barriers to transportation. But alongside this well-deserved praise has come a new set of concerns. Indeed, a growing number of studies have uncovered troubling racial disparities in wait times, ride cancellation rates, and service availability in companies including Uber, Lyft, Task Rabbit, Grubhub, and Amazon Delivery.
By David Redl
I applaud and congratulate the University of Michigan for launching the Journal of Law and Mobility. The timing is perfect. The information superhighway is no longer just a clever metaphor. We are living in an era where internet connectivity is a critical part of making transportation safer and more convenient.
Automobiles are much safer today than they used to be. Perhaps the best illustration of this fact is the decades’ long decline in the number of auto-related deaths per-mile-driven. And yet motor vehicles—including cars, trucks, and SUVs— continue to be among the most dangerous products sold anywhere. Automobiles pose a larger risk of accidental death than any other product, except perhaps for opioids.
With the launch of the new Journal of Law and Mobility, the University of Michigan is recognizing the transformative impact of new transportation and mobility technologies, from cars, to trucks, to pedestrians, to drones. The coming transition towards intelligent, automated, and connected mobility systems will transform not only the way people and goods move about, but also the way human safety, privacy, and security are protected, cities are organized, machines and people are connected, and the public and private spheres are defined.
The Journal of Law and Mobility accepts submissions of short scholarly works which will typically fall in the range of 2,000-6,000 words (footnotes inclusive) and adopts the emerging conventions of online law reviews: light annotation and relatively informal style, a focus on current events or fast-moving topics, and quick turn-around from acceptance to publication.
Before being accepted for publication, all submissions shall undergo peer review by at least two Journal editors or other qualified experts in the relevant field.
The Journal follows the Bluebook citation system and the Chicago Manual of Style.