The proposals would immunise an owner from prosecution if his or her autonomous car crashes, with passengers also exempt. Charles said the bill could “deliver one of the world’s most comprehensive legal frameworks for self-driving vehicles, with safety at its core.” Car makers are to face fines and potential criminal suits, depending on the gravity of the incident.
A “world of autonomous vehicles is likely to exist eventually,” the company’s auto industry analysts said, and yet they see little prospect of consumers being able soon to buy a car “that will drive itself everywhere without the driver ready to take the wheel.” Although Google successfully tested a self-driving motor as far back as 2015, the sector only has been inching forward in the meantime. What S&P Global said were “serious malfunctions of the nascent technology” mean prospects for Model T- or Volkswagen-style mass production are stuck in first gear. The brakes have been applied as technicians struggle with the “massive hurdle” of developing systems that can “operate in the complex and unpredictable world of interactions with human drivers.”