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A Better Partnership

Ahead of the Curve Auto Supplier Blog

January 15, 2016

Autonomous Vehicles: Making the leap from Earth to Mars?

Autonomous vehicles seem to have been the topic du jour at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and again this week as the North American International Auto Show kicks off  in Detroit.

Much of last week’s talk focused on a potential Ford + Google partnership that failed to materialize, or at least to be announced.  Less was said about the ongoing partnership between Nissan and NASA.  That one was announced over a year ago and NASA recently acknowledged successful tests of a prototype Nissan LEAF at its Ames Research Center in California.  

The Nissan-NASA partnership appears to be among the first OEM + technology partnerships to move beyond the rumor stage into actual development (read a recent article HERE) since General Motors provided the fuel feed system to NASA for the space shuttle. At that time, General Motors boasted its OBD II automotive fuel system was more complicated. Now, the collaboration could represent a transfer of space technology to auto industry applications and vice versa at an expanding rate with resulting technology benefiting NASA’s unmanned vehicle and aircraft systems. The point is, Google has autonomous vehicles running around roads on earth and now it looks like there could be similar vehicles surveying Mars.  So, are we finally going to get personal jet packs?  

All of this technology sharing requires meticulous scrutiny of development and partnership agreements and demands an in-depth understanding of the Intellectual Properties involved -- who owns what, who has rights to what and who is ultimately responsible and in charge? The technological complexity of what is on the horizon is beyond comprehension. Dicey, detailed, incredibly important stuff.  

If you’re in the process of forming a partnership, drawing up a new JDA or supply contract, or making sure your Intellectual Properties are 100 percent secure in this rapidly changing technological landscape, give us a call.  Wouldn’t you love to have your company’s mark on the first personal jet pack?

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