Driverless Cars: The Legal Landscape

May 23, 2017

The world of driverless cars – also known as autonomous vehicles – is coming, but is our country ready for it? Our innovative program will focus on important questions about regulations, standards, and rules of liability for these vehicles of the future. 

GW Law hosts a full day discussion bringing together industry representatives and federal and state officials with experience in regulation of motor vehicles. Confirmed participants include auto safety advocates; workers whose jobs may be displaced by these vehicles; and experts on legal liability, cyber-security, data privacy protection, and antitrust law. Ralph Nader will also deliver special remarks at lunch.

The big question for our policy makers and for this conference is, can we strike a proper balance between protecting the public and not unduly stifling innovation? And as part of an effort to answer that question, the conference will explore the proper roles of the federal, state, and local governments, as well as whether courts, legislators, or administrative agencies should make these vital decisions.  

This event will be live streamed at


9– 9:45 am: Opening Discussion - Overview

  • Jonathan Weinberger, Auto Alliance

9:45 – 10:45 am: Panel # 1 – The Testing Phase

  • Bernard Soriano, California DMV
  • Michael Brooks, Center for Auto Safety
  • Ralph Manzano, ATI21
  • John Simpson, Consumer Watchdog

11 am – 12:30 pm: Panel # 2 – The Deployment Phase

  • Bernard Soriano, California DMV
  • Charlie Haake, Global Automakers
  • Joan Claybrook, Public Citizen
  • Steve Wood, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

12:30 - 1:15 pm: Lunch

1:15 - 1:30 pm: Special Remarks by Ralph Nader

1:30 – 3 pm: Panel # 3 – Liability & Insurance

  • Harvey Rosenfield, Consumer Watchdog
  • Victor Schwartz, Shook, Hardy & Bacon
  • Robert Rabin, Stanford Law School
  • Tom Karol, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies 

3 – 4:15 pm: Panel # 4 – Other Issues: Impact on Workers, Cyber-Security, Uses and Abuses of HAV Data, and Antitrust Concerns         

  • Enjoli DeGrasse, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
  • David Vladeck, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Joshua Corman, The Atlantic Council
  • Albert Foer, American Antitrust Institute


  • Alan B. Morrison, The George Washington University Law School


Media interested in attending should contact Kara Tershel at 202.994.0616 or [email protected].


GW Law, long recognized as one of the top law schools in the country, pursues a distinctive research and learning mission that engages the leading law and policy questions of our time and provides students with an education that will position them to help change the world. Accredited by the American Bar Association and a charter member of the Association of American Law Schools, GW Law was founded in 1865 and was the first law school in the District of Columbia.

Media Contact

Kara Tershel
[email protected]


Wednesday, June 14, 2017
9 am - 4:15 pm


The George Washington University Law School
Jack Morton Auditorium
805 21st Street, NW (Corner 21st and G Streets, NW)
Washington, DC 20052