Autonomous and Connected Vehicle Team

Dykema’s nationally recognized Autonomous and Connected Vehicle Team understands the complexities of advanced automotive technologies. Our lawyers are at the forefront of these emerging technologies, and are already helping clients navigate the complex legal challenges and opportunities that automated vehicles present. The following is a summary of our capabilities and recent experiences involving the transformation of transportation.

Technology Company M&A and Investments

Dykema’s clients include investment firms and automotive companies making investments in, and acquiring, technology providers and mobility start-ups. In addition, the firm has advised technology providers on acquisition opportunities and strategies.

Technology Development Arrangements

As the pace of collaborations has accelerated, Dykema has assisted technology providers and up-stream incorporators on technology development arrangements involving joint development efforts, testing and integration. With a host of clients in both the automotive and technology industries, our lawyers have a broad perspective and deep understanding of their businesses, which enhances their ability to complete transactions. 

Product Liability

Dykema has long been a leader in automotive product liability litigation defense, representing almost every major automotive manufacturer in individual cases and related class action litigation. Our lawyers also have deep experience providing product liability prevention advice.

From the very beginning of connected vehicle development, it was a team of Dykema lawyers who advised a major automotive industry consortium on product liability issues. Our lawyers not only represent industry members, but are also leaders of major legal associations, chairing national and international programs on automated and connected vehicle technologies. Dykema is the only national law firm to recently sponsor a major university symposium focused on liability risk reduction.

Legislative and Regulatory Development and Compliance

Dykema’s regulatory experience with automated and connected vehicles extends back well over a decade and is a logical outgrowth of the firm’s long-standing regulatory experience with motor vehicle safety issues.

Dykema has been closely involved, on behalf of clients, in the development of state-level autonomous vehicle legislation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) rulemaking with respect to vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications technology. The firm closely tracks and advises on the development of state and federal legislation and regulations pertaining to vehicle automation and connectivity.

With respect to various types of emerging advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and automated vehicle systems, ranging from electronic stability control (ESC) to more recent innovations such as forward collision avoidance systems, we have assisted clients on all aspects of federal regulatory involvement, including rulemaking, compliance with any applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and NHTSA policy guidance. Our continuing regulatory work involving automated and connected vehicles includes representation of manufacturers of vehicles and equipment for both the passenger and commercial vehicle sectors.

Supply Chain Risk Management

As supply chains involving technology providers and sub-component suppliers have begun to develop, Dykema has advised clients with respect to supply chain risks that could impede continuity of supply when proprietary technology relating to autonomous and connected vehicles may become inaccessible due to business failure or other supplier action. Though supply chain risk is not new, the degree of risk pertaining to proprietary technologies is growing with potentially disastrous results if not proactively considered and addressed strategically in applicable contracts.

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a paramount challenge essential to the acceptance of advanced vehicle technologies that presents particularly significant legal risk. The firm’s lawyers have counseled vehicle manufacturers on measures to enhance cybersecurity and mitigate risks. Our lawyers are familiar with the planning and development of such systems, including identifying and allocating risk and liability based on interface and other physical or logical boundaries within vehicle systems. Our lawyers have been involved in telematics, infotainment, connected and autonomous vehicles since before vehicle cybersecurity was widely recognized as an issue, including substantial work for the Vehicle Infrastructure Integration Consortium in 2007 and the Connected Vehicle Trade Association, and continuing through current developments.

Data Privacy

Dykema lawyers frequently advise clients on privacy obligations, including regarding cross-border data transfer. Involvement has included all stages from privacy impact assessments (PIA programs) to planning, executing and monitoring privacy programs like in-app consent, US-EU Privacy Shield, Standard Contractual Clauses and other measures. Several Dykema lawyers hold IAPP certifications for both the United States private sector (CIPP/US) and are certified in European privacy (CIPP/E).

Also, starting in the mid-1990’s, Dykema began representing a consortium of major global automakers engaged with the U.S. Department of Transportation to perform various preliminary assessments of the feasibility of development and deployment of connected vehicle systems, both vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle to infrastructure (V2I).

Speaking Engagements