Introducing the New Law and Mobility Initiative

The Law and Mobility Project is eager to announce the beginning of a new thematic initiative. For the next two years, the Project will focus on the relationship between transportation technology and modern slavery. Specifically, the Project will consider how transportation technology can be used as a tool to combat modern slavery and human trafficking.

Ultimately, the Project seeks to analyze how transportation technologies can be used to combat exploitation by addressing systemic failures. One of the goals of the Project is to consider how to successfully implement transportation technology into society in a way that helps (rather than harms) populations who have historically experienced less access to transportation and have been systemically vulnerable to trafficking and modern slavery.

We are striving to make the Project a principal resource for scholarship, discussion, and examination. To be as holistic as possible, the Project will aim to address transportation law and policy issues from the perspective of different communities. Because this topic is very complex, the Project seeks to use an interdisciplinary approach to identify opportunities in a variety of fields.

In addition to the Journal of Law and Mobility, the Project will include blog posts, speakers series, and a reference guide to identify obstacles and share possible solutions as new transportation technology is implemented throughout society. In the second year of the human trafficking concept, the Project will host a conference to discuss the relevant legal questions and build a repertoire of meaningful resources. 

We will be looking to answer a series of questions, such as: How can CAVs create greater mobility access for marginalized communities? How can we use historical lessons about transportation technology and slavery to implement CAVs in the most ethical way possible? How will new transportation technology support marginalized people’s ability to move in dignified ways? What are some unanswered social challenges that new transportation technologies will create, and how can we try to get ahead of unknown obstacles? 

Although we will be examining how transportation technology can be used to combat modern slavery and human trafficking, we will continue to make the Project a resource for a wide variety of transportation technology topics in addition to our new focus.

Relevant areas of specialization might include disability rights, the rights of sex workers, racial justice, urban development, technology law, employment law, legislative drafting, environmental justice, products liability, transportation law, or administrative law. We are also interested in connecting with those who work in engineering, software development, and other fields related to the development of transportation technology. This list is far from exhaustive. 

We are eager to connect with you about fields that have not been listed to foster a richer, more comprehensive analysis of the challenges and opportunities presented by transportation technologies. Please let us know how we may be of assistance for your transportation technology work.

We are looking for expertise in relevant areas of law and technology in addition to other disciplines. If you are interested in sharing resources or collaborating with the Law and Mobility Project as a specialist in any adjacent field, please reach out at LawandMobility@umich.edu

If you have an article to submit for potential publication in the Journal of Law and Mobility, please submit your work here

Although we are looking for articles for the journal, we are also interested in compiling multimedia materials such as blog posts, Q&As, video interviews, or any other format that may be of interest to you. Please reach out to us if there is another format that may best showcase your work — we are happy to help facilitate a variety of creative resources.