Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Zane asks: Have you seen this news story about a Tesla driver sleeping behind the wheel? My question is do these “drivers” get charged with reckless driving, or is it just us plebs who are picked out of the crowd for “speeding” (aka keeping up with the real flow of traffic instead of the limits stuck in the ’80s)? Thanks once again and have a great day!
My reply: The laws haven’t yet caught up with this problem. This Catch-22, to be more accurate. On the one hand, even Tesla says that AutoPilot (i.e., the self-driving capability) only be used by an “alert” driver who is ready to “assume control” when necessary. But if the driver is supposed to be “alert” and paying attention to the road, why bother with Autopilot? The driver should be able to go to sleep. The technology certainly encourages it – and it’s risible for Tesla and the others peddling this tech to deny that it does.
Autopiloted or not, the law still says the driver is responsible for driving – even if he isn’t. So if the Autopiloted car wrecks, then it will be the driver who gets charged – whether he was actually driving or not.
The real problem is that this tech will encourage more drivers not to. And since the tech is no more infallible than the humans who created it, there will be wrecks. So it boils down to whether it is better to be killed by a human driver… or an Autopiloted car.
Also – an related – whether we want driving itself to be placed under the control of tech oligarchs and the government.
. . .
Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!
If you like what you’ve found here please consider supporting EPautos.
PS: Get an EPautos magnet (pictured below) in return for a $20 or more one-time donation or a $10 or more monthly recurring donation. (Please be sure to tell us you want a sticker – and also, provide an address, so we know where to mail the thing!)
My latest eBook is also available for your favorite price – free! Click here.