Re: Simple solution
That is ridiculous. Does a human driver go bankrupt when he accidentally runs over a pedestrian? No he doesn't, in most countries not even when you can prove that he was deliberately inattentive (drunk, catching pokemon).
The problem with autonomous vehicles is that we want them to be 100 times safer than the average human driver. That is totally unreasonable. If we would only demand that they make the road safer (i.e. they cause fewer accidents, or lower speed accidents than the average human), we would be zooming around in driverless cars RIGHT NOW.
Why don't we let the insurance companies sort it out? You buy an autonomous car from brand X. Your insurance company looks at accident records for this model, technology used etc. and makes you a quote which you accept as it is offset by the time you can spend doing other things in the car. If your autonomous vehicle then has a fender bender or kills someone, your insurance company pays for damages. Vehicle manufacturers have incentive to make their cars safer so they are cheaper to insure than the competition, we don't need entirely new accountability laws.
Maybe the idea is flawed, I just came up with it. Feel free to point that out to me.