I have always suspected that rather a lot of our drivers are snoozing at the wheel, especially during rush hour, and we don’t even have any self-driving cars to speak of. California, of course, does; and, being California, it has developed rules for the little automated boxen:
Under new regulations, drivers (or riders as the case may be) will need to be official testers on a manufacturer’s payroll and go through a special training program to get a yearlong permit. They’ll also have to remain attentive behind the wheel — so no napping on the way to work yet — and notify the DMV if they’re in an accident or have to override the car’s manual controls for any reason. When it comes to cars, it’s not a free-for-all. Manufacturers will need to apply for a permit for each individual vehicle, and cars are required to have at least five million dollars worth of liability insurance.
None of this sounds particularly unreasonable, but if these things are going to flood the market eventually, the DMV will almost certainly have to cut the drivers (will we, or they, still call them “drivers”?) some slack.