When you are no longer the driver, but the car is do the rules still apply the same way, and do you suffer the consequences of driving in one.
For example when the Florida Highway Patrol pulled him over this month for driving too fast, Brooks Weisblat didn’t bother telling the officer that his Tesla Model S had been driving itself.
“That would have definitely got me a ticket,” said Weisblat, who got a warning notice instead.
Florida doesn’t have a driver’s handbook dictating robot rules of the road. No state does, but California could become the global model next year when it publishes first-in-the-world consumer rules for self-driving cars.
Those regulations are already a year behind schedule. Among the problems vexing officials with the Department of Motor Vehicles is how to handle not just the machines but their over trusting owners.
“The technology is ready. I’m not sure the people are ready,” said Weisblat, who along with his Model S and its new Autopilot feature didn’t notice the sign warning that the freeway speed limit had dropped by 10 miles per hour as it approached Miami. “You still need to pay attention.”
Google has for years been testing vehicles near its Mountain View headquarters that are meant to be fully autonomous, requiring no human intervention except a rider’s voice saying “Take me to the supermarket.” But most carmakers developing self-driving technology are working on tools that relieve but don’t entirely replace human drivers.
Apple taking precautions to keep their progress secret as they test their autonomous vehicles.
Apple is looking into using a former military base northeast of San Francisco as a high-security proving ground for autonomous vehicles it is developing, according to an online report by British newspaper The Guardian.
Engineers from the technology giant’s Special Projects group have been in contact with representatives of GoMentum Station, a 2,100-acre facility on the site of what used to be the Concord Naval Weapons Station, in Concord, Calif.
Correspondence obtained by The Guardian through public records requests shows Apple is interested in using the sprawling sites, which has more than 20 miles of paved roads, city streets, railroad crossings and tunnels, to test self-driving vehicles.
Both Honda and Mercedes-Benz have been using GoMentum Station for testing their own autonomous cars.
News of Apple’s interest in the former base is the latest glimpse into Apple’s secretive autonomous-car program. The maker of iPhones and MacBooks had said little publicly about its vehicle-development efforts, but in recent months it has hired some well-known executives from automakers.