For my second (and last) CLE session at South by Southwest, I went to something called “The Automobile As Network Node.” I’m going to quote from the course materials, because I really didn’t understand any of it:
Automobiles are increasingly connected to computer networks and are used to collect, use and share vehicle-related information. They also provide a delivery mechanism for driving, entertainment and other content and information. This panel will discuss legal issues arising out of and related to the collection, use and disclosure of vehicle-related information and related emerging legal issues of data use in or related to vehicles.
Aside from an unintentional bad pun, I can’t say I got much out of this. That’s entirely my fault, for not having any foundation that would allow me to understand the material. I did learn the word telematics, whose definition is roughly paraphrased as the “intersection of when the vehicle knows where it is located and has the ability to engage in two-way communication.” The original idea was to allow a person who needed help to call for it, using embedded mobile technology. I am fuzzy on the technology and the legal issues.
I’m kind of disappointed in myself, because this means I checked out on a seminar on intelligent cars. Dangit.
It did yield the best audience question ever, though: “Are self-driving cars plausible from a legal standpoint?”
I wish I could remember the answer.