It had to happen, no system is perfect. In the aftermath of the first autonomous driving road fatality, the public, legislators and manufacturers will now be questioning, where do we go from here?
Will it become a media beat up, where the new technology is demonised without impartially gathering the facts surrounding the incident.
It's safe to say that every sane thinking person is in favour of better road safety and if autonomous driving technology helps promote that outcome, it should be pursued.
Let's take a look at air safety technology as an analogy. The airline industry as a whole, is now so heavily computerised that virtually no airliner today is capable of flying without these systems. There are plane crashes every year which are directly attributed to software glitches, outright computer failure and unexpected scenario's which the software engineers didn't account for. Statistically speaking, those numbers while tragic, are very low. You don't hear anyone from the airline industry crying to remove all the computer systems we now take for granted because we rely too heavily on them. The old adage, "flying is safer than car travel" is true for a reason. If we look at the numbers, the statistics show that flight safety has improved since the introduction of computerisation.
I'm not suggesting that autonomous driving be the de rigueur standard and that computers should solely take control of our road transport, but the airline industry doesn't work that way - and neither should road transport.
Let's have an intelligent debate as to how we want autonomous driving technology to be universally employed.
For the write up on the incident, follow the article link.