I was just reading in an article on Techcrunch that Ford acquired an Israeli company to develop its driverless car by 2021. We know that Google and Tesla are already working on this. But there are actually many more companies that are working on it as referenced in this article on CB Insights.
Now having lots of people working on this is a pretty good thing, but this also means that every company will come up with its own proprietary solution to the problem. This will result in every car company having its own standards, its own performance indicators to judge the system's performance with etc. Now, if each car company used a different road, this would not be an issue; these cars may be driven all around the world with other cars, humans, animals on the roads or off the roads. Having this many different standards, who can judge one car from the other?
Tesla's autopilot had a crash recently. They are saying that the system was experimental at best, and people should stay in control of the car. They, therefore, were claiming innocence in this crash. I am not here to judge who is guilty here. However, at which point will car manufacturers be responsible for the self-driving cars? At some point, there will be no requirement for the driver to pay attention to the road. So can the companies guarantee no car crashes then?
What I am trying to get at is, how will car companies be judged to be safe if every car company has different software and hardware? What is going to be the government mandated minimum safety requirement for a self-driving car in the U.S.? What about in the E.U.? Or the U.K.? Will a car designed, built and tested in the U.S. work just as well on a remote village road in Afghanistan?