On Tuesday, permits for self-driving cars issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) took effect for the first time.
Applications for the permits began in May 2014. Only the Volkswagen Group (which includes Volkswagen and Audi cars among others), Mercedes Benz, and Google have been issued permits for their 29 total vehicles.
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As Ars reported in May 2014, a manufacturer that wants to test autonomous vehicles has to apply for a testing permit, certify its drivers to test the cars, and secure a $5 million insurance or safety bond.
My concern is not with these test cars, but rather what happens when they are in general circulation and one of them causes an accident or runs someone over (a dog or child darting out into the street). Will owners of such cars have to have $5 million in liability insurance? What if it’s a software glitch, or worse, a hack? I’m not looking forward to seeing these cars on the road. Humans need to take the responsibility for, and exert some effort towards some things in life, and I consider driving a car to be one of them. Not that they do such a swell job of that….