Personal Injury

Will Self-Driving Cars Make Roads Safer?

by William Mattar | October 5th, 2017

As outlined in a number of previous entries, the proponents of self-driving cars argue that their widespread use will drastically reduce the number of collisions and, as a result, injuries and deaths resulting from such collisions. A recent study by the RAND organizations casts some doubt on this assumption—or at least posits that such an […]

Autonomous Autos to Navigate with ‘Lidar’

by William Mattar | September 21st, 2017

As examined in a previous blog entry, autonomous vehicle rely on an array of technologies—from cameras to sensors to more sophisticated “lidar”—to navigate roadways. An article in Fortune, “What Happened When Ford Tested Its Self-Driving Car in Total Darkness” explores just how advanced self-driving technologies have become. The article discusses a “recent test at Ford’s […]

Autonomous Car Liability

by William Mattar | September 21st, 2017

A law review article published in the Southern Methodist University Science and Technology Law Review makes the novel argument that “[l]aws governing canine ownership are a good model on which to base laws governing autonomous cars.” While it may seem implausible to compare a sentient animal—a dog—to the motions, sensors and axels of an autonomous […]

Self Driving Cars vs. ‘Shabby’ Roadways

by Dawn Raub | September 8th, 2017

It is well-accepted that America’s roadway infrastructure is in need of reboot. How will self-driving cars respond to “shabby U.S. roadways,” as they were recently described in a Reuters article. The author sets the scene: A press event at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Volvo’s semi-autonomous prototype is in the limelight. Things don’t go as […]

Self-Driving Car Freedom?

by William Mattar | August 28th, 2017

Today’s entry takes a look at a scholarly article published just over a year ago in the Yale Journal of Law and Technology: The Costs of Self-Driving Cars: Reconciling Freedom and Privacy With Tort Liability In Autonomous Vehicle Regulation. Analyzing the laws of agency and products liability, the article’s main thrust is that “the more […]

Could self-driving cars impact our privacy?

by William Mattar | July 11th, 2017

“In [a] near-future filled with self-driving cars, the price of convenience is surveillance.” That is the argument advanced in a recent Atlantic article, “How Self-Driving Cars Will Threaten privacy.” The article begins with a morning commute “sometime in the indeterminate future” where the humanoid voice of a hypothetical self-driving car makes seemingly innocuous suggestions as […]

Self-Driving Uber Cars??

by William Mattar | July 11th, 2017

Will self-driving cars eliminate the livery industry as we know it today? A recent Reuter’s article seems to presage, at the very least, major changes. According to a recent Reuter article, citing an auto industry cars source, ride-hailing service Uber is looking to place a “large order for self-driving cars.” Would a fleet of Uber-bots […]

Uber & Lyft Insurance Coverage in Upstate NY

by William Mattar | July 7th, 2017

As companies such as Uber and Lyft set up shop in Upstate New York, many insurance coverage questions arise. New York State has passed legislation allowing these types of companies to operate as transportation network companies (TNC) throughout the state. “A major question is, Who will insure the TNC?” asked attorney William Mattar, who focuses […]

The Future of Self-Driving Cars

by William Mattar | July 7th, 2017

A recent article in the Philadelphia Business Journal distills five takeways from a recent Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the future of self-driving cars: Human drivers only make self-driving cars less safe. According to a Google employee who is leading the technical development of its self-driving car technology, “[d]eveloping a car that can shoulder the […]

Product Liability and the Self-Driving Car

by William Mattar | July 7th, 2017

A previous entry took a look at a Brookings Institute paper examining products liability and self-driving cars. That paper, observing that “[a]utonomous vehicles will complicate the . . . entanglements between insurance providers, plaintiffs, drivers/owners named as defendants, and manufacturers,” set forward a number of proposals for state lawmakers. As a follow up, this entry […]