Wednesday, February 28, 2018
California is taking a technological leap of faith. It is now allowing self-driving cars to go on the roads without an attendant behind the wheel. This could be a PR/Marketing triumph or a disaster. It depends whether the autonomous autos negotiate the roads without accidents or other run-ins. The engineering companies, such as Waymo, have been working toward this day for years. They are eager to start sending vehicles on the road by themselves. One unknown in all this is the sentiment of the passengers. Will they be tempted to seize the wheel if they get nervous? Can they sit quietly in the passenger seat and let the car proceed as it wishes? The issue is not so much the automated vehicle but drivers around it who weave in and out and cut off others then panic stop. Humans are the problem, not machines.