“Are our social and legal structures ready to deal with self-driving cars? Or to put it another way — are we ready?” – asks the Los Angeles Times.
Here’s the rational way to think about this. Self-driving cars are the safest way to go on the road, just as flying is the safest way to travel period. There have been crashes and deaths with airplanes but we don’t ban the planes. Statistically, self-driving cars are the safest vehicles on the road by far. So why ban them?
But who do you blame if someone is killed?
That’s the problem.
In aerospace, the blame is studied. Was it pilot error, mechanical error, air traffic controller error, birds or what? Then suggestions, findings and corrections are made to make it better.
Self-driving cars should have the same rules, except here there’s no “driver” error. You must consider “software error,” other person error, other driver error, other circumstances, and so on. Then suggest findings and corrections can be made to make it better.
Should we really scrap the safest travel on the road because of a fatality?