Same law, different lawyers
02 April 2020

The road to vehicle automation: are you ready to disrupt the world?

Can you see yourself playing video games while driving or even have a quick nap in a hotel room that travels with you? We know you can! We know that you have been at the genesis of developing the very technical solutions that will make this possible.

We are at the verge of fundamental transformation of how mobility works into our daily life – it involves a new technical field at the crossover point between automotive and digital technologies. Self-driving vehicles (SDVs) and automated freight transport and logistics are set revolutionise society.

Future mobility solutions and vehicles are set to take advantage of ever-growing computer power, high-speed connectivity, deep learning algorithms for artificial intelligence and fast and decentralised data handling. This requires a number of technical challenges to be addressed, such as managing vehicle design, interaction with the vehicle, co-existence with other road users, personalised transport solutions, and environmental sustainability. A new eco system is starting to unfold enabling new and inventive ideas for services, vehicles and applications across the value chain, such as Mobility as a Service (MaaS).

As one of tomorrow's leaders, you have secured and will continue to secure a long lead in the technical fields as diverse as perception, analysis and decision (e.g. scene perception and modelling), computing (e.g. artificial intelligence and computer security), communication (e.g. 5G network and cloud for learning and updating high-definition maps and traffic data), vehicle handling (e.g. sustainable powertrains and automatic steering), and smart logistics (e.g. fleet management and smart power grids).

The road to automation is the ultimate petri dish with relevance to so many disciplines. It will be instrumental to build collaboration arrangements between different technology specialists. In doing so, you will have a variety of legal challenges at your disposal. What to think of the pitfalls when protecting data driven and computer-implemented inventions? How about structuring collaborations between different but potentially competing technology specialists? Not to mention potential regulatory and commercial litigation risks when putting SDVs on the road.

Pioneering is great. But why keep all the fun to yourselves? We at Hogan Lovells are up to the task. Let's team up and share knowledge!