John McNelis, co-chair of Fenwick’s autonomous transportation and shared mobility practice, was featured on the Inside Transportation podcast, discussing the future of autonomous vehicle technology from market consolidation to liability questions.
“I think we are seeing some consolidation in the industry,” McNelis said. “The amount of money and capital required to have a successful company in the space is so significant that it is naturally going to require some of the bigger players to jump in. We’re starting to see that, both in terms of mergers, but also collaborations.”
When asked about when the industry will see vehicles with the highest level of autonomy (Level 5), McNelis noted: “When it happens, it is going to happen quickly, but it is going to take a while to get there.”
Discussing potential developments related to AV liability, McNelis said, "I think we're going to see a lot of what we currently have. If you're responsible and you're tasked with being responsible for maintaining control and understanding the environment around your vehicle, the negligence standard if going to apply to you. If there's a problem with the vehicle and what it is doing, then product liability can supplement that.”
The full podcast can be found on the Inside Transportation website.