they will be sporting devices with much better "reflexes" than people can muster. Boredom, fatigue, etc can be eliminated as a reason for accidents on the part of the autonomous vehicle.
Its true that people cant be 100% responsive and aware, but an electronic driver will be monitoring rod and traffic conditions thousands of times per second.
If the vehicle hs a prime directive to never exceed speed postings and gets better and better at sensing, Im sure we can reduce accidents by a huge amount.
Yeh, this is a setback, but its the sunrise of the applied tech. Tunneling and underground mining machines are mostly autonomous in USA. As recently as 2000, they were still driven by a human. Now a human accompanies the machines as a "second pair of eyes".
Much of our land grading for projects having large tracts of land are accomplished by computer driven dozers , graders , an drags. All this is tied together by gps surveyed maps in their onboards.
Farming uses a series of autonomous plows, seeders , drills , and fertilizer applicators (and the fertilizer is precisely delivered based on needed chemistry and amounts on NPK) .Its still cheaper to use human drivers.
Is our airforce slow;y going over to drones and autonomous ROV's?.
Id love to go to the shore every weekend qnd sit in a lounge- like cockpit and read or enjoy a beverage, and let the autonomous car do the driving to the place .
I wanna go back to the Black Hills and do some fossil hunting but I hte driving that part of the country (also upstate Western NY)