Ryan Duplechin, an attorney in Beasley Allen’s Mass Torts section, was recently featured in the Tennessee Law Review with his contribution to the national debate over the future legal issues surrounding autonomous vehicles – or self-driving cars – with his article, “The Emerging Intersection of Products Liability, Cybersecurity, and Autonomous Vehicles.” Although several law review articles feature self-driving cars, Ryan’s article is the first to predict how products liability law will be applied in the event a self-driving car is hacked and causes injury.
In 2015, researchers were able to hack and control the brakes of a Jeep Cherokee with only a laptop and smartphone. More recently, researchers have been able to hack certain cars and control their steering, brakes, and major driving components. Despite this, “cybersecurity concerns have taken a backseat as manufacturers race to be the first to market a mass-produced autonomous vehicle,” Duplechin writes. “This Article seeks to bring these issues to the forefront by scrutinizing emerging automotive cybersecurity shortcomings through the centuries-old lens of common law tort.”
In October 2017, Duplechin accepted a contract to publish this piece with Tennessee Law Review, the flagship journal of the University of Tennessee College of Law. The Tennessee Law Review has been a scholarly legal publication since 1922 and has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court on more than 30 occasions. In addition to print copies, the article is available on Westlaw, LexisNexis, HeinOnline, and by clicking the “Publications” tab on Ryan’s attorney bio page at beasleyallen.com.