What’s the Acceptable Death Rate for Autonomous Cars?

Before a surgeon cracks open your chest, ask him his acceptable death rate for patients. When you climb aboard an airplane, ask the pilot her acceptable death rate for passengers. You’d think — and hope — their answers are “zero,” reflecting the...

The War to Remotely Control Self Driving Car Heats Up

EVEN IN THE middle of the day, the 50-mile trip from San Francisco to San Jose is a pain. Like a toddler, Bay Area driving toggles between slumber (rush-hour slogs) and frenzy (passing-happy speeding). It’s enough to make one eager for the day when robots rule the...

Safety Now, Self-driving Later

I have no idea how long it will take for a safe, fully autonomous vehicle to enter production. I am sure that it will take a lot longer than the experts are predicting. But in the meantime, the industry is developing a large number of lifesaving devices and features,...

What First Responders Don’t Know About Fiery Electric Vehicles

Lithium-ion batteries, once ignited, are extremely difficult to douse. After an out-of-control Tesla Model S plowed into a stand of palm trees on a highway median outside Fort Lauderdale last month, police rushed to put out the ensuing blaze using a department-issued...

Hacked Self-Driving Cars Would Cause Chaos, Study Suggests

As the battle for the autonomous car market amps up, with Tesla, Waymo and emergent start-ups all vying to be the first to render human drivers irrelevant, the public’s worries about crashes and pedestrian fatalities have slowly abated. But new research suggests that...