What Happens on the Road, Stays on the Road

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Human beings take great pride in their versatility, and rightfully so. After all, which other species has managed to excel in so many different spheres? In fact, this versatility doesn’t just set us apart, but it has also proven to help us big time around our growth-oriented pursuits, therefore playing a key role in shaping ours and the world’s future. Now, while such a skill deserves appreciation, it doesn’t give you the entire picture. You see, as expansive as humans seemingly are, they cannot cover everything. Beyond a certain point, we end up requiring a level of help, and on the societal frontier, the said help comes from the regulatory bodies. Designed to protect our interests across every possible area, these bodies use established regulations like a signpost when judging the events in their domain before reaching the most apt decision, but even a simple setup of this sort had to go through its challenges. For instance, once technology turned up on the block, regulatory bodies were pretty much forced into revamping their ways. It took a long time to complete the necessary process. In the meantime, many industries exploited the transition period by tearing the rulebook rather aggressively. Fortunately, the regulatory industry came around, and it has been a sweet ride since then. However, a recent lawsuit against California DMV does complicate things a little.

Autonomous vehicle operator, Waymo has officially filed a lawsuit against California Department of Motor Vehicle in a bid to block the department from sharing driverless car crash data with the public. According to Business Insider, Waymo’s argument here is mainly based on the fact that such information should be viewed as a trade secret, and therefore, is better kept under the wraps. The information we are talking about is, of course, related to the ongoing autonomous vehicle testing program in California. With authorities still a little hesitant over the safety aspect, every permitted company is obligated to have its testing runs extensively monitored. During the monitoring process, details like how a company handles certain autonomous vehicle emergencies, how it responds when its vehicles attempt to drive somewhere they are not intended to go, and how they handle steep hills or tight curves are picked up, but they are not always released for the public to see. Waymo’s problems started once an anonymous person submitted a request to DMV, asking for Waymo’s permit application to operate driverless cars on public roads. Before complying with the request, DMV let the company redact certain details, and the move spelled a whole controversy. Interestingly enough, as per the reports, DMV then advised Waymo to seek an injunction through a lawsuit if it wanted to block the person’s redaction challenge.

“Potential market participants interested in deploying autonomous vehicles in California will be dissuaded from investing valuable time and resources developing this technology if there is a demonstrated track record of their trade secrets being released,” claimed Waymo.

 

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