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

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) granted GE Healthcare (“GEHC”) a waiver of its equipment authorization rules to allow for the importation, marketing, and operation of certain medical devices that have yet to receive authorization under applicable FCC requirements.  The GEHC devices at issue include bedside and wearable patient monitors; telemetry transmitters; antenna infrastructure; wireless sensors; diagnostic testing ECG analysis systems; mobile radiology equipment; and portable X-rays.

The FCC granted the waiver due to the “unprecedented strain” that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on the U.S. healthcare system.  In doing so, the FCC recognized that GEHC now has to rely on alternative component suppliers to maintain a robust supply chain of devices, and that doing so has and will continue to require GEHC to pursue and secure new or modified equipment authorizations under the FCC’s rules.  By waiving these rules for a temporary period,  subject to certain conditions, the FCC enabled GEHC to import, market, and operate these devices before they are fully authorized, thereby improving the speed at which GEHC can bring them to market.
Continue Reading IoT Update: FCC Waives Equipment Authorization Rules for GE Healthcare to Address COVID-19 Supply Chain and Testing Challenges

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

The rapid spread of COVID-19, along with the effectiveness of existing public health response plans and the impacts of social distancing on the economy, have raised the question of how new technology can be used to address and manage the pandemic. On April 1, 2020, the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence hosted “COVID-19 and AI: A Virtual Conference” to explore the potential applications of artificial intelligence (“AI”) in diagnostics and treatment, epidemiological tracking and forecasting of the spread of COVID-19, and the pandemic’s impacts on the economy, culture, and human behavior.

Continue Reading AI Update: Using Artificial Intelligence to Combat COVID-19

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) on its own motion released a Declaratory Ruling to confirm that the COVID-19 pandemic constitutes an “emergency” under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”); as a consequence, hospitals, health care providers, state and local health officials, and other government officials may lawfully communicate through automated or prerecorded calls (which include text messages) information about the coronavirus and mitigation measures to mobile telephone numbers and certain other numbers (such as those of first responders) without “prior express consent.”

Continue Reading FCC Clarifies that COVID-19 “Emergency Purposes” Calls/Text are Not Subject to “Prior Express Consent” Requirement