Virginia Business magazine’s April cover story about the flourishing self-driving automobile industry quoted McGuireWoods’ Michele Satterlund, one of the state’s most authoritative voices on public policy involving autonomous vehicles.
Robust research and testing of autonomous vehicles by universities and companies on Virginia’s roads and test tracks makes the state “one of the best-kept secrets” in the industry, said Satterlund, a McGuireWoods Consulting senior vice president and law firm partner. She serves as a lobbyist for the Unmanned Systems Association of Virginia.
The commonwealth’s legal and regulatory environment has given the industry freedom to innovate. Recent state legislation to aid the industry includes a new law that will allow videos to play on an automated car’s instrument panel while it operates in fully autonomous mode.
“Virginia has purposefully — and rightfully so — fostered ongoing and steady dialogue with innovators to help define the path to the future, when today’s research and development phase can eventually become the social benefits envisioned to improve safety and mobility,” Satterlund said.