At “least three persons shall be employed to drive” each vehicle

If you worry that local authorities will make overly cautious decisions on how to regulate self-driving cars — or that some of them are currently making overly cautious decisions on regulating ride-sharing — cheer up, because in the past the adoption of initial, highly cumbersome rules has tended to be followed by revisions in a more rational direction later, once the technologies become familiar. Take the progression of English motor vehicle law from its “red flag law” origins in 1865 to its significantly relaxed revision in 1896. Of course, that did take 31 years [Mental Floss]


  • Favorable regulation of driverless cars will come quickly if Google and others team up with vote-rich organizations for the elderly, like AARP. This would end the need for fraught arguments about taking away Grandma’s car keys.

    If Grandma becomes too befuddled to tell the car where to take her, the car can wait patiently in a safe place until her intentions are clear, call a contact (next of kin?) for a command, or take her to a default location, eg home.

    Driverless car technology could also eliminate problems with repeat-offender drunk drivers.

  • When I was a teenager in Vermont, it was claimed that a law still on the books but unenforced required every car to be preceded by a man on foot waving a red flag in daytime and a lantern at night. The purpose was to avoid frightening horses.

  • I wonder if a licensed driver be required in the car at all? Will someday parents be able to put their kids in the car (maybe at least a teenager) and send them to dance practice or school? Will I be able to have one drink too many and allow the car to drive me home? Will I be able to sleep while in the car?