The idea of a driverless car, an autonomous automobile, is common enough that it isn’t news. The reality of any invention for mass-production, however, is that it has to meet regulations. Regulations are made to ensure safety, or at least limit damage. Auto autos made one step forward because the US government decided that the operating system is the driver. That simple declaration is a recognition of the entity responsible for operating the vehicle; which initiates a cascade of changes in terms of whether the vehicle has to have wheels and pedals. A simple concept, but pervasive. The simple step does not, however, answer the key question: If a driverless vehicle causes an accident, who is responsible: the owner, the occupant (if there is one), the manufacturer, the programmer(s), or… ?
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