Avi Kelin Pens NJ.com Op-Ed on Safety and Regulation of Autonomous cars in New Jersey

June 5, 2015

Firm associate Avi D. Kelin provided his insight in an NJ.com op-ed piece focusing on why the New Jersey Assembly should consider legislation that would allow self-driving cars onto New Jersey roadways. The article, entitled “With a Safer Future in Mind, N.J. Assembly Should Pass Regulations Paving Way for Self-Driving Cars,” discusses the myriad of legal obstacles which are currently stalling the improvements to safety that autonomous cars would provide to motorists. Nearly 32,000 Americans are killed in auto accidents yearly, and an additional 2.2 million people suffer auto-related injuries. Mr. Kelin points to accident statistics caused by drivers under the influence and those distracted by their cell phones stating that autonomous cars eliminate this factor of human error, thus increasing safety for travelers: “These potentially dramatic safety improvements make it crucial that consumers adopt self-driving cars as soon as the technology is ready. One obstacle to this vision is the fact that the law currently lags behind the technology.”

Google has been experimenting with this technology for years, and Tesla aims to begin marketing their autonomous cars as early as this summer. In light of these developments, the New Jersey Senate recently passed a bill directing the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission to create a self-driving car licensing endorsement and to enact regulations on insurance, safety testing and registration. Although the bill is a worthy first step toward the regulation of autonomous cars, additional issues require consideration by legislators.

The full article can be accessed here.

Avi D. Kelin is a member of the firm’s Business Law & Commercial Transactions, Commercial Real Estate & Redevelopment and Corporate Political Activity Law Practice Groups.