Google autonomous or driverless cars, and offerings expected from auto manufacturers using the technology, have been all the rage in news for the last year, with Google making real progress towards a workable vehicle and having 700,000 plus miles of testing under their belt. However, I don’t think Google cars, or any others, will go. Here is why. The manufacturers have two choices:
- Ensure that the logic of the car follows the law, the vehicle codes.
- Allow the logic to violate the law.
If Google and car manufacturers follow the second, they will be sued, and will lose, the first time and every time that a crash occurs.
The first is more far more likely, and the outcome more subtle. Following the law means such things as a full and complete stop at stop signs, never exceeding the speed limit, yielding to every pedestrian every time, never making unsafe passes. What’s the problem with this? Nothing except that most drivers will not be the least interested in having a car that never violates the law. That’s no fun!