Google’s self-driving vehicle is still a work in progress, and one of the more interesting recent developments have certainly raised our eyebrows. Apparently, Google has allowed their self-driving car to actually break the legal speed limit by up to 10mph, at least according to the head of the project, although the local authorities are not going to be too amused by this, and certainly would not approve should the ride run afoul of the law.
Who do you think will “win” out in the end – the software engineers behind the autonomous car project, or the police? In the first place, do you think that such a provision should be in there at all? After all, there really is no point searching for trouble autonomously, is there?
Dmitri Dolgov, the project’s lead software engineer, claimed that there is a very good reason for doing so – that it might be safer for Google’s cars to actually keep up with traffic even if it were to exceed the speed limit a wee bit, compared to sticking to it rigidly that might end up as an obstruction. It remains to be seen which party would have to pay the speeding fine if no one is behind the wheel though, which is something that police departments might want to look into and make changes to the law in order to accommodate such vehicles in the future.
I personally think it does not make too much sense to break the speed limit by up to 10mph – what if everyone else were to move 20mph above the speed limit? The same logic would apply – Google’s self-driving car might then be an obstruction, although the chances of that happening would be less. What do you think?