Breakout Session #9

An AV Crash Occurs: What Happens Next?

Monday, July 9, 1:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Room: Golden Gate 2

Organizers:

  • Karlyn Stanley, RAND Corporation
  • Ellen Partridge, Environmental Law & Policy Center
  • James Anderson, RAND Corporation
  • Todd Benoff, Alston & Bird
  • Susan Clare, King & Spalding
  • Bruce Doeg, Baker Donelson
  • James Esselman, FHWA, US Department of Transportation
  • Ryan Gammelgard, State Farm Insurance
  • Tina Georgieva, Miller Canfield
  • Dorothy Glancy, Santa Clara University School of Law
  • Shaun Kildare, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety
  • Nira Pandya, U.C. Berkeley Law School
  • Robert Rabin, Stanford University Law School
  • Carl Schultheisz, National Transportation Safety Board
  • Bryant Walker Smith, University of South Carolina School of Law
  • Vincent White, NJ Governor Murphy’s Office
      Note Takers:
  • Nira Pandya, UC Berkeley Law School
  • Tina Georgieva, Miller Canfield

Session Description

Software bugs, vulnerabilities, and updates will happen to AVs. When a crash occurs, how will liability be assessed, especially in a mixed-fleet environment? Panelists from a cross-section of interested parties – insurers, plaintiff and defense lawyers, law enforcement, and regulators – will discuss several scenarios from performance failures to cyber-attacks. As part of this dialog, they will discuss the roles that government, manufacturers, insurers, and juries will play in determining how autonomous vehicles should perform, including appropriate fixes and updates to software, and how liability will be assessed.

Goals/Objectives/Outputs

  • Goal 1. Governmental Regulation. Where software updates are needed, should FMVSS require that they be done remotely, or does that increase vulnerability to hacking?
  • Goal 2. Liability for Hacking. Since any connected system can be hacked, who should bear the costs of insuring against this sort of event? Should manufacturers be allowed to disclaim “cyber warranties?” If shining a media spotlight on a vulnerability allows hackers to focus on the patch, should the media bear any responsibility?
  • Goal 3. Civil Liability and Consumer Protection Laws. What legal or policy changes are needed in the current civil liability and consumer laws to address AVs, particularly with respect to continuous improvement/software updates?

Agenda

This session is divided into two sections.

Section #1: 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Cybersecurity – What happens when AVs are hacked?

An AV manufacturer discovers a vulnerability in the code for all of the Level 4 vehicles it has made in the last two years. The manufacturer develops a patch. Because the software patch cannot be installed remotely (e.g., through an over-the-air update), the manufacturer notifies all owners and lessees to come into the dealership and install the patch. Not all of them do.

The media learns of the vulnerability and patch, and runs several articles on the topic. A group of government-sponsored hackers in North Korea focuses on the original vulnerability, as well as the patch. On the same day, the hackers launch two attacks. The first takes control of vehicles that still have the original vulnerability – the hackers are able to disable the brakes, open the throttle all the way, control the steering, and disable the “minimal risk condition.” Numerous accidents and injuries ensue.

  • Moderator:
    • Karlyn Stanley, RAND Corporation
  • Panelists:
    • Todd Benoff, Alston & Bird
    • Ryan Gammelgard, State Farm
    • Dorothy Glancy, Santa Clara University School of Law
    • Carl Schultheisz, National Transportation Safety Board
    • Don Slavik, Slavik Law Firm

3:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Break

Section # 2: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Civil Liability and Consumer Protection Laws – What happens when mixed fleet vehicles crash?

A Level 4 vehicle approaching a highway exit is cut off by a vehicle driven by a human driver. The Level 4 vehicle is unable to avoid an accident and collides with the human driver vehicle. A Level 3 tractor trailer traveling behind them alerts the tractor trailer driver to take control, but he fails to do so, and the tractor crashes into the other vehicles before it can come to a controlled stop. A fatal accident results.

Two weeks prior to the accident, a software update for the Level 4 vehicle was released that enhanced the car’s ability to detect and respond to emergency situations, including unsafe lane changes. Although the owner of the Level 4 vehicle received a notification regarding the software update, he did not obtain the update prior to the accident.

  • Moderator:
    • Ellen Partridge, Environmental Law & Policy Center
  • Panelists:
    • Susan Clare, King & Spalding
    • Ryan Gammelgard, State Farm
    • Ryan Harrington, Exponent
    • Kristin Kolodge, JD Power
    • Don Slavik, Slavik Law Firm

5:00 PM
Conclusion