Autonomous Transportation

  • Holland & Knight's Autonomous Transportation Team has the in-depth experience and knowledge needed to help companies, including startups, in their efforts to define the future of autonomous transportation.
  • Our attorneys and professionals advocate for clients and assist them in navigating all aspects of the complex legal, policy and regulatory landscape surrounding autonomous transportation, including in the automobile, aviation, maritime, rail, transit and trucking industries.
  • We stay updated on the latest autonomous technology developments, trends and regulations so that we can effectively advise technology and telecommunications companies, vehicle manufacturers, automotive insurance companies, transportation network providers, logistics companies, state and local governments, public-private partnerships (P3) and other stakeholders in this ever-evolving arena.
Autonomous Vehicle


Transportation in the 21st century is going through revolutionary change as mode of transport, infrastructure and technology converge in unprecedented ways. Autonomous transportation is evolving toward a unified intermodal approach involving the integration of surface automated transportation systems, including cars, trucks, light rail, infrastructure and port operations.

The potential benefits of autonomous transportation – reduced congestion, increased fuel efficiency, safety and reduced costs, among others – demonstrate the potential disruption the technology could have on the auto, maritime, aviation, rail, public transit and other industries. Autonomous transportation innovations are moving at an exhilarating rate, while laws and regulations adapt at a slower pace to accommodate the myriad of stakeholders impacted. Holland & Knight's Autonomous Transportation Team is helping our clients define the future of automated transportation issues as new legal, policy and regulatory frameworks are being written.

Transportation and Technology Are Converging

Holland & Knight is uniquely positioned to assist clients in seizing opportunities and overcoming challenges for new autonomous transportation technologies. Unlike most law firms, we have deep domain knowledge in the disruptive vehicle technology industry and in the legacy transportation sector. From Silicon Valley startups to infrastructure powerhouses, our lawyers and senior professionals have decades of experience in assisting technology companies achieve their goals within the policy, legal and compliance frameworks designed for legacy infrastructure. We have an insider's perspective on what it takes for clients to compete in today's marketplace.

Our team includes former:

  • National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) general counsel and assistant general counsel
  • members of Congress with extensive transportation, technology and telecommunications policy experience
  • congressional staff from committees with jurisdiction over authorizing and appropriating funds towards transportation, technology and telecommunications issues

Legal Advice for All Aspects of Autonomous Technology

Our technology and transportation industry sector groups include more than 100 attorneys and professionals who advise on legal issues involving the entire life cycle of autonomous technology stakeholders, including:

  • corporate formation, financing, and mergers and acquisitions (M&A)
  • intellectual property (IP) creation, protection and commercialization
  • federal, state and local public policy development
  • lobbying and strategic advice
  • regulatory enforcement actions
  • cybersecurity, data security and privacy
  • employment matters (including employee misclassification class action claims)
  • insurance and risk management issues
  • product liability counseling and defense work
  • land use
  • real estate development
  • government contracts
  • public-private partnership (P3) formation, financing and dissolution
  • spectrum management and procurement
  • accident investigations

Representative Experience

Autonomous Vehicles

  • Assisting a leading autonomous vehicle company in navigating the legal landscape and advocating before Congress and federal government agencies
  • Assisting an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in developing and launching an on-demand mobility service, as well as forging a partnership with a mobile app-enabled car rental startup
  • Assisting a group of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)-affiliated entrepreneurs in taking Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Urban Challenge award-winning autonomous vehicle technology to market
  • Assisting autonomous vehicle suppliers in developing research plans and obtaining permits to put test vehicles on the street
  • Advising startups and established companies in the development and monetization of leading mapping and geolocation technologies, including IP protection, licensing transactions and M&A transactions cumulatively representing several billion dollars in enterprise value
  • Assisting a voice recognition company in penetrating the transportation sector
  • Assisting a major transportation network provider that is developing autonomous transportation technology with a range of litigation matters

Unmanned Aircraft Systems

  • Assisting a coalition of leading news media companies in ensuring that federal regulatory policy will allow for newsgathering via drones
  • Advocating for a startup unmanned aircraft technology provider before Congress, DOT and the White House
  • Providing corporate formation, financing and M&A work to a drone equipment manufacturer

Autonomous Vessels

  • Assisting major vessel management and owner, logistics services, government, and marine energy and energy solutions company with strategy and legal framework for use of vessel autonomy in emerging commercial and government markets
  • Assisting startup advanced navigation intelligence data provider on U.S. Coast Guard regulatory matters regarding the use of advanced autonomy on vessels
  • Assisting startup autonomous vessel owner on Coast Guard passenger vessel laws and product liability matters
  • Advising wing-in-ground craft owner/operator on Coast Guard vessel regulations related to autonomous operations
  • Assisting autonomous unmanned submersible and underwater vehicle company on compliance with domestic and international law regarding data collection and ocean mapping services

Fuel Efficiency

  • Advocating on behalf of a transportation material manufacturer before Congress and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regarding the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards
  • Assisting startup companies seeking Department of Energy (DOE) funding for vehicle electrification projects

Smart Cities

  • Helping state and local governments compete for grants related to Smart City innovations, including autonomous vehicles, public transit and connected vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) systems and infrastructure
  • Building partnerships between technology companies and the state and local governments that regulate them to assist in the growth of the technology market sector


  • Representing a major transportation network provider in litigation and regulatory matters throughout the United States
  • Advising telecommunications carriers and wireless network providers, major telecommunications equipment companies and semiconductor companies before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on matters related to the emerging 5G standard that will support vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and V2I transmission
  • Advising communications companies on FCC cybersecurity and data privacy issues

Higher Education

  • Advocating for universities seeking federal funding to conduct research, development and validation of innovative vehicle technologies


  • Assisting logistics companies on aviation and transportation issues relating to package delivery


  • Assisting automotive insurance companies on cybersecurity, privacy and unmanned aircraft system deployment
  • Advising global insurers on emerging risks from autonomous vehicles, unmanned aircraft systems and the Internet of Things (IoT)


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