This is the first of a two-part series discussing the privacy and security issues associated with the widespread use of automated vehicle technology.  This first post focuses on potential privacy issues, while the second post – coming soon – will address security issues.


As the development and testing of self-driving car technology has progressed, the prospect of privately-owned autonomous vehicles operating on public roads is nearing. Several states have passed laws related to autonomous vehicles, including Nevada, California, Florida, Michigan, and Tennessee. Other states have ordered that government agencies support testing and operations of these vehicles. Industry experts predict that autonomous vehicles will be commercially available within the next five to ten years. A 2016 federal budget proposal, slated to provide nearly $4 billion in funding for testing connected vehicle systems, could accelerate this time frame. In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) set a goal to work with stakeholders to “accelerate the deployment” of autonomous technologies.

This post will explore some of the  privacy issues that should be addressed before these vehicles are fully commercialized.