Robert Maxwell wrote:
I, for one, can't wait. I don't really like driving and I'd love to hand that function over to a computer.
Me as well. I hate driving. There are legal issues as well as I understand it for example who is at fault in an accident if the computer miscalculates? Is the driver still? And what happens in that scenario if someone dies?
Also, as I understand it everyone on the road would have to have GPS and many people are concerned about the privacy issues related to that.
Fault would be determined case-by-case, as it is today. Really, this is not even a big issue and just needs to be sorted out with some legislation.
If an accident occurs because a human driver took over, the human is at fault. If an accident occurs because of a hardware or software defect, the manufacturer is at fault. If an accident occurs because the owner hasn't been doing proper maintenance, the owner is at fault. If everything was working correctly and circumstances were such that the accident was simply unavoidable, you've got yourself a no-fault situation.
That said, driverless cars are expected to have much lower accident, injury, and fatality rates than human-driven cars. A computer is simply much better at responding to real-time circumstances extremely quickly, with exacting precision as well as vastly more information than is available to a human.