When news hit late last week that one of Google’s driverless cars had been involved in a minor fender-bender, the anti-autonomous driver argument made itself. “This is precisely why we’re worried about self-driving cars,” howled Jalopnik.”Google’s self-driving car seems like the ultimate distracted driving machine.” But on the very same day, Google claimed that
One of our goals is to prevent fender-benders like this one, which occurred while a person was manually driving the car [emphasis added]
Before you know it, the other side of the debate, as epitomized by Popular Science flipped the argument, insisting that
this incident is yet another example — as if we need one — of the human capacity for error. Hopefully when cars do take over, they’ll be able to prevent these types of incidents on their own.
So yeah, there’s a pretty wide range of opinions on the issue. And with Nevada’s legalization of driverless cars, it’s only a matter of time before something happens that busts the debate wide open again. So, how do you feel about our new robot overlords? I, for one, could live with the technology for freeway/expressway use… but not without drawing some kind of clear lines around legal liability. Off-freeway? No thanks. Too few benefits from packing traffic tighter and too many other variables in traffic. What say you?