Re: Transitional period
Happens now: people slam on the brakes unexpectedly because they see a cat/dog/claim for whiplash... What does concern me about automated systems is that we are basically abdicating responsibility to those automated systems and expecting them to get on with it. Parking a car without reversing sensors when you're used to 'em might lead to a small dent... Not checking your blind spot because you have a blind spot warning system might miss a bike, or the system might have failed completely... Forgetting to brake because you thought adaptive cruise control was on and should have slowed the car down, or the emergency brake system should have kicked in, is possibly fatal.
My wife's new car has adaptive cruise control and emergency braking. The disclaimers are quite clear, assuming you ever look at the manual... It still feels eerie to use adaptive cruise control and have the car slow down then speed up for you without you taking any action. It works, but I'll be damned if I'm trusting my and my family's life to something that might malfunction due to dirt on the sensor.
(From the manual: The efficacy of the radar sensor can be impaired by contamination such as slush or snow, or by environmental conditions such as heavy rain or spray. And "The system is not a substitute for the full concentration of the driver. ")
How long before the most dangerous component of a car - the nut behind the wheel - has zero control? Maybe not this decade, but definitely in my lifetime.
Coat, please, I'm leaving. Mine's the one with the 15 year old Elise's keys in the pocket. The one with no traction control, ABS, or power steering... The one that it feels like you're actually driving.