It will be a nightmare. Traffic will be gridlocked. There’ll be fights and in the US, killings.
A robot car’s
sensors could decide that it’s only safe to overtake when there’s no oncoming traffic at all. On a busy road at school home time, this may be never, leading to increasingly exasperated passengers and increasingly angry drivers queuing behind.
And how will a robot car nudging out from a T-junction into oncoming traffic be able to make the necessary eye contact with a human driver?
Actually, humans are the danger
Google’s test cars have now racked up more than two million fully-autonomous miles of driving on public roads in California, Arizona, Texas and Washington, reporting a handful of minor accidents to the Californian authorities.
Interestingly, quite a few of these accidents have involved human-driven vehicles going into the back of the Google cars, suggesting perhaps that the ultra-cautious robots, with safety as their first priority, are more timid in their approach than we’re used to.