Drunk Stoned or Stupid

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s responded to Google’s request for more information about federal safety standards for self-driving vehicles: “NHTSA will interpret ‘driver’ in the context of Google’s described motor vehicle design as referring to the [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants. We agree with Google its [self-driving vehicle] will not have a driver in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than 100 years.”

Johnny Luu is right.  His futuristic employer, Google, has made safety the highest priority, so it is premature for California DMV (Department of Morons & Villains) to start regulating a fully self-driving car which has not yet been put on the market.

By requiring a human being to be at the wheel, DMV is putting the cart before the horse by defeating the entire purpose of a fully self-driving car. The LA Times is asking “Can we make sure robots are safe?

DMV’s year-late draft mandate might create unknown dangers to passengers by allowing human errors to be in a position to interfere with state-of-the-art perfect driving.  Think drunk Passenger attacking Uber driver.  Or a woman passenger.  Google machines can avoid passenger interference by complex computer programming which could avoid interaction with a human driver that could lead to an accident. Google’s lofty goal of reducing the 94% of accidents caused by human error may be in jeopardy if not given a chance by California DMV to “get ‘er done!”

Why not let Google transform the industry, prove reduction of collisions caused by people and move into the next century?

Renault-Nissan is newest auto manufacturer to announce self-driving car plans, joining Google, Tesla, Toyota, Ford Motor, General Motors, Uber, Lyft, and maybe Apple Inc.

Why create a new opportunity to put a drunk person behind the wheel instead of a machine?

This rule puts a human behind the wheel.  Humans love to drink alcohol, especially in California $35 Billion booze industry.

Why also create a valid defense to the dangerous California crime of DUI, San Diego DUI lawyers wonder?

By requiring a licensed driver ready to jump in if the vehicle fails to do what it’s supposed to, DMV may also be providing a new “Not-Driving” Defense in a California DUI case.   Because driving must be proven in a DUI case, an insightful San Diego DUI attorney’s client driver could take the position that while he or she was “ready,” he or she actually “did not take over” or “the machine did not fail” as it continued to drive the vehicle.

If the “ready” person had some wine or beer with dinner, things could get complicated.  Assuming “driving” is sufficiently proven, to then defend against a DUI charge in California, a defense attorney should show how the accused drove with the “caution” characteristic of a sober person.  At what point will a “ready” person be held to this “cautious” standard if the machine is driving in such a manner that the person should take over.  What if the machine somehow fails but the ready person did not take over; that’s not being a very cautious person, is it?

DMV could be inadvertently creating problems of (driving) proof for California DUI attorney prosecutors.

Thanks to DMV thwarting Google, California DUI case law will undoubtedly be rewritten.  See, for example, this Avvo Legal Guide “No Driving Defenses in California.

Instead of help creating safer roads, the Department of Morons & Villains may be creating a Pandora’s Box.  Of course, DUI accidents and arrests are a big revenue source for DMV’s $11 Billion annual budget.  California DMV collects huge fees arising out of the thousands of annual APS (administrative per se) hearing reissue fees in DUI cases.  You take the human driver out of the equation, there’s less DUI drivers…and less money for California DMV to make off of them.   Thanks to DMV, California can continue to retain its reputation as “America’s Binge Drinking Champion” for a long time.

Nice try, Google.  Maybe more progressive states are out there.

 

 

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