2020: When AVs Attack, Who’s at Fault?

Most scientists agree that the zero-collisions goal is impossible even for AVs, which neither drink and drive nor text at the wheel.

“Of course we’d prefer to have zero collisions, but in an unpredictable, real world that is unlikely,” Phil Koopman, CTO of Edge Case Research and a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, told EE Times. “What is important is that we avoid preventable mishaps. Setting an expectation of ‘dramatically better than human drivers’ is reasonable. A goal of perfection is asking too much.”

Even so, the notion of assigning blame for an accident makes everyone uncomfortable.