Bloomberg Law: Autonomous Vehicles and Software, Regulatory Challenges—A Conversation

July 13, 2020

O’Melveny partner and Automated & Connected Vehicles group chair Melody Drummond Hansen, partner Heather Meeker, and counsel Jason Orr are interviewed in this Bloomberg Law article and podcast about legal and regulatory issues the autonomous vehicle (AV) industry should consider, including open source software challenges, regulation strategies, and data security and privacy threats.

“We’re seeing kind of a perfect storm coming together for litigation over open-source software (OSS) licenses. For starters, software is a very active space for intellectual property disputes generally, and the use of OSS adds more layers of IP complexity,” said Drummond Hansen.

Meeker added, “OSS has been ubiquitous on the internet for years, and it’s becoming ubiquitous in AVs now. But the same openness that makes it so valuable in AV development also creates a potential liability vacuum that we expect will be litigated going forward.”

Addressing the topic of AV regulation, Orr said, “There aren’t yet any federal laws or binding agency rules that specifically regulate AVs. The government is taking a light-touch approach because it doesn’t want to inhibit or interfere with the development of new AV technologies.”

Listen to the full interview here.