Frederick Paul Furth Sr. Professor of Law
“There’s a coming revolution in the way that people, services, and goods get around, and autonomous cars will influence much more than just the transportation industry,” says Professor Daniel Crane, who leads Michigan Law’s Law and Mobility Project. “Everything from insurance to environmental issues and urban planning, even civil rights issues around traffic stops, all of these aspects will be transformed.”
The Law and Mobility Project, which to date includes a digital legal journal and conference series, is an interdisciplinary initiative jointly administered by Michigan Law and Mcity, the University of Michigan’s testing facility for emerging mobility solutions.
By bringing a set of resources and programmatic themes around mobility to Michigan Law, we’re establishing an agenda that will attract great minds and channel their work outward to society.”
“It is because of private support that we can move on these opportunities, creating forums where Michigan’s tremendous advantage as a research institution can be brought to bear directly on consequential topics like autonomous vehicles,” says Crane. “By bringing a set of resources and programmatic themes around mobility to Michigan Law, we’re establishing an agenda that will attract great minds and channel their work outward to society.”
The Journal of Law and Mobility is an academic journal adapted to suit an industry evolving in real time. Crane describes it as “somewhere between a traditional law review and an industry-facing publication.”
The journal accepts analysis of legislative, regulatory, or technological developments, as well as short essays and long-form academic research. The conference series invites notable public speakers to forums hosted at Michigan Law, including a recent visit from U.S Representative from Michigan Debbie Dingell and frequent interactions with thought leaders from companies like Ford, Tesla, and Uber.
“Autonomy is going to be as big as the Internet,” says Crane. “We have an advantage among American institutions to be the law school for autonomous vehicles. There is no one else surrounded by the kind of activity we are. Detroit’s automotive industry has found relevance again, and Ann Arbor’s tech start-up scene is getting involved with everything happening at Mcity. There’s no other law school that is surrounded by the kind of public and private activity that we are, and we intend to take advantage of that.”