Video just released by the Santa Clara Transit Authority under a Public Records Act request by the Associated Press shows the first video of a robot car causing an accident with a bus. Google wouldn't release its robot car's video of the scene, but the Transit Authority did.
The panic on the face of the bus driver and confusion among passengers in a collision with a much lighter robot car that was traveling at very low speed shows how robot cars can cause harm. The bus stopped and the passengers had to get off. It makes you thankful for DMV rules requiring that there be drivers ready to take over when robot cars fail.
Watch the video and consider if the situation was turned around.
What if the bus was a robot, 20 tons of machine, and caused an accident with the ligher car, or a bicyclist, or a child it could not see crossing its path?
Assembly Bill 1592 (Bonilla) would allow for a robot controlled bus to travel on public roads, going against the DMV guidance that requires a driver be ready to take over. It was scheduled for a hearing Monday but will now be heard in Sacramento in April.
Sound like a bad idea now, in light of the accident video and DMV testing that shows robot cars had to have a human driver intervene hundreds of times in California testing?
Hopefully Assembly Member Bonilla will watch the video and withdraw her bill.
Robot cars and buses that are safe and autonomous may be in the future, but they are not here ye. Bonilla shouldn't want any accidents caused by unattended robot buses on her conscience or the roads of her district.