DETROIT (Aug. 2, 2016) — When the time comes that autonomous cars have been tested and proved with millions of miles of trouble-free operation, there will be a huge potential market for commercialization.
But until that time, we should make sure that companies don't use our highways as their own private proving grounds.
If the American public found out that aircraft manufacturers were using the skies to test a new autopilot, there would be outrage, and all tests would be halted immediately.
The same procedures should be used for auto testing as for aviation. Otherwise, auto tests could be killing and injuring drivers and passengers for as long as it might take to make certain that autonomous systems are safe and reliable.
There are lots of test tracks and other facilities available to ensure safe 24-hour testing for potential manufacturers.
To allow real-world testing of driverless cars on the streets and highways of America is reckless and irresponsible. It is inconceivable that after over a hundred years of automotive development, there are executives who would condone any testing of such vehicles on public roads.
It is wrong and should stop immediately.
One of the most important aspects of testing should be crash avoidance. Obviously, no one would suggest that phase of testing should be done anywhere but in a test environment where all aspects of the vehicles could be monitored.