Autonomous Transportation

Self-driving cars and autonomous vessels are becoming a reality, signaling a shift in the way vehicles and vessels operate. Travel and carriage of goods from point A to point B is changing, disrupting the transportation industry on land, at sea and in the air.  As the way people and products move and operate continues to change, automotive manufacturers, ship builders, offshore operations, insurers, technical managers, OEMs and other suppliers are assessing this industry shift and preparing for its impact on their respective businesses. 

Haynes and Boone’s multi-disciplinary Autonomous Transportation Industry Group is equipped to help clients navigate these changes, whether protecting innovative technologies, complying with new industry regulations, structuring finance deals and partnership agreements, or managing insurance and liability risks. We bring together the technical knowledge and industry experience to effectively advise clients operating in this rapidly evolving space. 

Our autonomous transportation experience includes:

  • Representing a client in a patent case involving radar-based safety features, the technology of which is the foundation for most autonomous vehicles.
  • Representing a client on strengthening its patent portfolio related to autonomous vehicles.
  • Representing a client on a pre-litigation claim regarding patents covering Wi-Fi in traffic lights, which enables communication with autonomous vehicles.
  • Representing a technology company on patent applications directed to wireless communications between and among vehicles for autonomous driving. 
  • Representing clients involved in: technology relative to drones and other autonomous vehicle technologies; navigation technologies for various autonomous vehicles/systems; R&D on autonomous land vehicle and related technologies; and, automated train controls and failover systems.
  • Drafting various patent applications relating to autonomous vehicles (e.g., airborne, terrestrial, and marine autonomous vehicles).
  • Technical experience working on vehicle anti-collision radar, focusing on hardware design, specifically, radio frequency hardware components.


Our vast experience in technology and innovation specific to the transportation industry allows us to advise clients in all facets of legal issues facing the autonomous transportation industry, including:

  • Intellectual Property 
  • Insurance Recovery 
  • Data privacy/Cybersecurity
  • Fund Formation, including sovereign wealth funds investing in emerging technologies
  • Private Equity
  • Finance
At the core of our Autonomous Transportation Industry Group are leading intellectual property, technology, transactional and finance lawyers. They are listed among The Best Lawyers in America 2020, published by Woodward/White, Inc., Managing Intellectual Property’s IP Stars directory (2019), and Legal 500 UK directory, published by Legalese.  They have proven results in technology, intellectual property, commercial litigation, financing and transportation.



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New Workboat Code Includes Remotely Operated Unmanned Vessels for First Time
January 26, 2024

In December 2023, the Workboat Code Edition 3 (the “Code”) entered into force, following a consultation in 20221. This is a seminal moment for the autonomous vessel sector as, for the first time, the workboat code specifically addresses remotely operated unmanned vessels (“ROUVs”) operating as workboats. Application of the Code generally The Code applies to workboats less than 24m in length and i [...]