Governments are faced with the prospect of preparing for the operation of self driving vehicles on our highways. Probably chief among the considerations is who is responsible if the automated vehicle causes a crash.
This document from Australia's National Transport Commission examines the need to:
- provide clarity about the situations when an automated driving system (ADS) , rather than a human driver, may drive a vehicle
- ensure there is a legal entity that can be held responsible for the ADS when it is operating
- establish any new leg al obligations that may be required for users of automated vehicles
- outline further work that needs to be done to transform agreed policy into legislation
Until whoever has the responsibility also requires pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles and so on to be under autonomous control when on public roads, I will withhold any support for autonomous cars and trucks. Seems to me that one bicyclist doing a standing stop could tie up all autonomous vehicles in an intersection for as long as the rider chooses to do so. No doubt there are many (domestic and foreign) pedestrians and cyclists that will relish such an opportunity and also no way, once the intersection is plugged with vehicles that are unable to move, for anybody in authority to get to the person causing the blockage and have them move on – perhaps only to the next intersection.
Ambulances will require wings in order to be effective. Fire trucks will be of little use.