Disruptive ride-hailing company Uber has joined the growing ranks of companies testing driverless car technologies.  However, while the technology may be progressing rapidly, the legal framework governing self-driving cars has the potential to hinder their mainstream rollout.

Just last month, Uber and a number of other companies operating in the driverless car space (including Google and Ford) formed the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets.  This coalition aims to influence policy and foster a regulatory framework that is supportive of self-driving cars, rather than obstructive.  In many jurisdictions, the legal status of autonomous vehicles remains unclear.  Features such as on-board cameras and data analytics also raise interesting data privacy and liability issues.  We're starting to see greater legislative recognition though, with the UK and France among those countries now permitting testing of driverless vehicles on public roads.

With the availability and quality of drivers being one of Uber's biggest challenges, driverless cars may prove the answer - however the road is unlikely to be a smooth one.