DB: Where are you?
JD: In Las Vegas, at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show. I got in Monday afternoon for the pre-festivities. This is our fourth year at the show, and this year I had the opportunity to speak at one of the main conferences, the SAE International Connect2Car event.
DB: How was your talk?
JD: The theme was connected and autonomous driving in the future, and I focused on how Detroit will introduce autonomous technology and how safety plays a role in the timing of any launch. The question becomes: How safe is safe enough? My clients are Tier 1 automotive suppliers and Silicon Valley tech suppliers, so in addition to attending the show, we’re having a lot of business meetings.
DB: Anything at the show that’s impressive?
JD: It’s interesting to see all of the sensors that are being integrated into vehicles, as well as how the automotive industry is converging with the aerial and marine sectors. There’s also a lot of focus on cybersecurity. We’re taking a test ride in an (autonomous) Tesla.
DB: Any takeaways?
JD: There are major threats impacting the rollout of autonomous vehicles. First, there’s regulatory uncertainty. We’ve lost some key regulators at NHTSA, which makes people uneasy. No. 2, privacy is a major concern, especially with 50 different state privacy laws. There’s also cybersecurity, and product liability issues. It’s already been an exciting trip, and the technology is going in an interesting direction. We were going to look at a connected bathroom, but there are some things that just don’t need to be connected.