Oh my goodness. As if there wasn’t enough excitement surrounding autonomous cars taking over your driving responsibility, California has now relaxed a few rules requiring autonomous cars to have a driver present. Instead, the rules make it acceptable for autonomous cars to be in full control of the driving experience without the use of an operator. Talk about not having much of a safety net! Autonomous technology is very exciting and is the wave of the future, but I’d be lying if I said that this particular lax in the rules doesn’t freak me out just a bit. To make matters a little more intimidating, the DMV in CA further relaxed a rule that required autonomous cars to have “a steering wheel or pedals for the operator to take back control.”
Anyone remember high school driver’s ed? Well, our driving instructor had access to a second steering wheel and pedals just in case we got ourselves in a precarious position. So who’s to save us from a possible collision if there are no steering wheels or pedals with which to take back control?!?!? I’m normally in favor of all technological advances but this particular one is one giant step that leaves me uneasy. I like contingency plans and try to have a back-up plan for most scenarios, but this one is a bit unnerving, especially when you take away all the power or control from an operator’s hands.
To read more about the interesting direction that autonomous cars are heading in, visit Bloomberg Technology’s California Says Autonomous Cars Don’t Need Human Drivers.