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Rebecca Yergin practice focuses on a broad range of privacy, data security, technology, and communications issues. In particular, Ms. Yergin counsels technology companies on federal and state privacy and data security laws and regulations, including in the healthcare space. She also assists clients in negotiating commercial transactions relating to content distribution, and she advises clients on Federal Communications Commission compliance issues. Ms. Yergin's practice furthermore focuses on the regulatory ecosystem for the Internet of Things (“IoT”), including connected and automated vehicles.

NHTSA recently issued a First Amended Standing General Order requiring electronic portal submission of crash incident data for automated and semi-autonomous vehicles. As of August 12, 2021, automated motor vehicle manufacturers, motor vehicle equipment manufacturers, and operators will be required to report and upload crash incident data within 24 hours to the NHTSA Incident Report

Connected and automated vehicle (“CAV”) developments in Washington are likely to pick up speed as 2021 rolls in. Indeed, a new presidential administration, new agency leadership, and a new Congress may drive new CAV regulation while also spurring innovation in an industry that many believe can enhance road safety, mobility, and accessibility. For instance, John Porcari, a Biden-Harris campaign advisor and former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation under President Barack Obama, recently indicated that transportation agencies under President Biden would prioritize innovation and technological change and adopt a federal framework for autonomous vehicles.

Lawmakers and regulators, furthermore, will have the opportunity to build on some of the initiatives that picked up speed during the fall of 2020, such as the Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment and Research in Vehicle Evolution Act (H.R. 8350) (“SELF DRIVE Act”), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (“NHTSA”) AV TEST tool, and NHTSA’s request for comment on its proposed framework for Automated Driving Systems (“ADS”) safety. Additionally, the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) adoption of rules to modernize the 5.9 GHz Band could spur the deployment of CAV technology, and the new administration may reinvigorate inter-agency efforts to examine consumer data privacy and security issues posed by CAVs, as well as CAV-related developments in infrastructure. This post looks down the road ahead for CAV developments in Washington.
Continue Reading IoT Update: The Road Ahead for Connected and Automated Vehicle Developments in Washington

In this edition of our regular roundup on legislative initiatives related to artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, the Internet of Things (IoT), and connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs), we focus on key developments in the European Union (EU).


Continue Reading AI, IoT, and CAV Legislative Update: EU Spotlight (Third Quarter 2020)

The COVID-19 pandemic has created both speed bumps and accelerants for connected and automated vehicle (“CAV”) developments in the United States.  In our Quarterly Update earlier this month, we covered recent legislative and regulatory activity around CAVs, both specifically targeted efforts and those impacting AI and IoT technologies generally.  Although some CAV legislative efforts have been sidelined due to the government’s focus on COVID-19, the pandemic is incentivizing policymakers at the federal and state levels to support CAV-related initiatives.

Continue Reading IoT Update: COVID-19 Drives Forward Connected and Automated Vehicle Legislative and Regulatory Efforts

The wheels continue to turn with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (“NHTSA”) efforts to modernize vehicle safety standards, including for connected and automated vehicles (“CAVs”). Most recently, NHTSA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”), seeking public comment on its endeavors “to improve safety and update rules that no longer make sense” for certain CAVs, “such as requiring manual driving controls on autonomous vehicles.” According to NHTSA, the NPRM is a “[h]istoric first step for the agency to remove unnecessary barriers to motor vehicles equipped with automated driving systems” (“ADS”).

Comments on the NPRM are due by May 29, 2020.
Continue Reading IoT Update: NHTSA Continues to Ramp Up Exploration of Automated Driving Technologies

This month, situated among foldable tablet computers and flying taxis, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao, unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (“CES”) the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (“DOT”) long-anticipated fourth round of automated vehicles guidance, “AV 4.0.”  Formally entitled, “Ensuring American Leadership in Automated Vehicle Technologies,” AV 4.0 is less regulatory guidance and more regulatory aggregator.  The document lists in great detail the various Administration efforts—across 38 federal departments and agencies—geared toward promoting, supporting, and providing accountability for users and communities with respect to autonomous mobility.
Continue Reading IoT Update: DOT Introduces Fourth Round of Automated Vehicles Guidance (AV 4.0)

From the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) to Congress to the White House, the federal government has continued to push the importance of investment and innovation in fifth-generation (“5G”) wireless technology. This push bodes well for the many industries that rely on the Internet of Things (“IoT”), such as transportation, healthcare, and manufacturing—to name a few. As we have previously discussed, 5G deployment is critical for IoT because the IoT ecosystem will rely heavily on the increased speeds and capacity, as well as the reduced latency, that 5G technology will enable. Below we discuss the most recent pushes for 5G developments from federal leadership before surveying key industries in the IoT ecosystem that we expect to benefit from these efforts.
Continue Reading IoT Update: Flurry of Federal 5G Activity Indicates Important Growth Opportunities for the IoT Ecosystem

On February 27, 2019, Covington hosted its first webinar in a series on connected and automated vehicles (“CAVs”).  During the webinar, which is available here, Covington’s regulatory and public policy experts covered the current state of play in U.S. law and regulations relating to CAVs.  In particular, Covington’s experts focused on relevant developments in: (1) federal public policy; (2) federal regulatory agencies; (3) state public policy; (4) autonomous aviation; and (5) national security.

Highlights from each of these areas are presented below.


Continue Reading IoT Update: Covington Hosts First Webinar on Connected and Automated Vehicles

One week from today, Covington will host its first webinar in a series on connected and automated vehicles (“CAVs”).  The webinar will take place on February 27 from 12 to 1 p.m. Eastern Time. During the webinar, Covington’s regulatory and legislative experts will cover developments in U.S. law and regulations relating to CAVs. Those topics include:

  • Federal regulation affecting CAVs, with a focus on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”), the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”), and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”) review.
  • Where Congress stands on CAV legislation, including the AV START Act, the SELF DRIVE Act, and infrastructure legislation.
  • State-level legislative, regulatory, and policy developments, including a closer look at California’s regulations.
  • Updates and trends specific to the autonomous aviation industry.
  • Foreign investment and export controls impacting CAVs.


Continue Reading IoT Update: Covington to Host Webinar on Connected and Automated Vehicles

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump used his State of the Union address to reinforce the need for legislation to update the nation’s infrastructure. In the speech, he urged both parties to “unite for a great rebuilding of America’s crumbling infrastructure” and said that he is “eager to work” with Congress on the issue. Significantly, he said that any such measure should “deliver new and important infrastructure investment, including investments in the cutting-edge industries of the future.” He emphasized: “This is not an option. This is a necessity.”

President Trump’s push on infrastructure is particularly noteworthy because infrastructure remains popular in both parties and the new House Congressional leadership has echoed the push for an infrastructure package.

While the State of the Union provided few details about the kinds of “cutting-edge industries” that could be the focus of a bipartisan infrastructure package, three key technologies are likely candidates: 5G wireless, connected and automated vehicles (“CAV”), and smart city technologies. A fact sheet on infrastructure released by the White House after the speech reiterated the call to “invest in visionary products” and emphasized the importance of “[m]astering new technologies” including 5G wireless. Such investments may not only improve “crumbling” infrastructure, but also spur the development of these technologies—and Congress is already holding a series of hearings devoted to identifying infrastructure needs.


Continue Reading IoT Update: Building Out the “Cutting Edge” for an Infrastructure Package