Re: What a complete plonker!
So in other words, despite the fact that he knew it should have been telling him to hold the wheel and that he knew he should be holding the wheel, on this occasion he didn't do so because "it didn't ask me."
I didn't see that bit in the NTSB report. It did report witnesses seeing the driver with a hand on the wheel, but looking at <something>. Possibly his food, possibly an iGdaget. Report said investigators found no sign that the driver was on the phone or texting, but can't tell if they may have been using an app.
Report also said the 'autopilot' had been following another vehicle, which moved out of the HOL. For an attentive driver, that may have been a clue to figure out why? And combined with keeping a safe driving distance, given an attentive driver time to avoid driving into the back of a big fire truck with it's emergency lights flashing.
But.. Too me, it suggests the attention modes don't work, or are easily bypassed. So keep one hand on the wheel, focus your attention on a pron video and the 'autopilot' is none the wiser. Especially if driver alert messages are just visual cues rather than loud messages like 'WAKE UP!' or 'BRACE BRACE BRACE'.. But if the 'autopilot' can't autopilot, those warnings may be frequent and annoying to drivers, who'll probably figure out ways to disable them.
But much like in the aviation world, this accident can be attributed to pilot/driver error rather than establish potential liability for the manufacturer. I'm guessing in this case, the problem is the car's detectors can't identify or act sensibly @65mph when there's an unexpected object in the driving area, even if it's as big & obvious as a fire truck.