“We have not cited any Google self-driving cars,” Sergeant Saul Jaeger, the press information officer at the Mountain View Police Department, told me. They hadn’t pulled one over and let the vehicle go, either, to Jaeger’s knowledge.
Google confirmed that they none of their cars had ever been ticketed in Mountain View or elsewhere.
“What we’ve been saying to the folks in the DMV, even in public session, for unmanned vehicles, we think the ticket should go to the company. Because the decisions are not being made by the individual,” said Ron Medford, safety director for Google’s self-driving car program, and the former deputy administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“A person, if it is defined as a human person and not a corporation, that’s what we’re really wondering about,” Medford said. “Even in this definition… does a person mean a human individual or can it mean something more? It would seem to me that in the future it might mean something different.”
The DMV’s Soublet responded: “Well, right, if you look at the common definitions that are in the vehicle code, a person includes a corporation and a partnership and other forms of entities. So when we think of a vehicle being operated, is it that inclusive? Is the operator that person, that could be a corporation?”
Because robotics companies need corporate persons to accept the legal responsibility for the work algorithms do.
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