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Busted: Google Auto-Pilot Car Breaks Traffic Law
When I read the headline on Jalopnik I immediately thought of the recent runaway train movie “Unstoppable.” Did one of the systems fail; did the vehicle run a red light; did it hit another car?
Nope. None of the above.
What actually happened, apparently, is the “driver” got a ticket for talking on a cell phone, which is against the law in California while driving without a hands-free unit (per CA vehicle code section 23123).
There was no actual violation by the car itself. The guy behind the wheel thought he got a pass and so was chatting away when “Johnny Law” pulled the car over.
Cut to the year 2020: “It wasn’t me officer, it was the car . . . it was driving.”
To that future excuse on the autopia, the law in California already has an answer. It will treat the self-driving car like a version of cruise control and still hold the driver accountable for all moving violations.
Here’s one instance where the law doesn’t have to catch up to technology.
Postscript: I made the incorrect assumption that the driver had been pulled over — apparently he hadn’t.