Ticketing Self-Driving Cars

A police officer pulled over a Cruise self-driving car in San Francisco recently, and issued a citation for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Cruise disputes the citation, but since nobody was hurt, the interesting thing to me is that the safety operator got the ticket.

Knowing nothing about the actual interaction, I imagine the police officer writing the citation, caring not a whit about who or what was actually operating the vehicle, and walking off.

Longer-term, how does this work? Specifically, what happens when safety drivers are no longer in the vehicle.

Maybe officers will ticket passengers. That will get the vehicle owners’ attention quickly.

What if nobody is in the vehicle?

Routine traffic stops are one of the most common interactions between citizens and police in the United States. For many people, this is their only interaction with the police. As self-driving cars progress, we’re going to need to rethink interactions between police and the public.

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