If Your Self-Driving Car Gets a Ticket, Should Google Pay?

Jason English
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Over at The Atlantic on Monday, Alexis Madrigal reported that Google's self-driving cars have never gotten a ticket or even been pulled over. But at some point, one probably will. Let's say you were in the driver's seat. Do you have to pay the fine? Will you get the points on your license? 

As California law is currently written, you probably would be responsible. But that's changing. Madrigal points to Senate Bill 1298, which requires California to "adopt regulations governing the testing and use of autonomous vehicles on public roadways no later than January 1, 2015."

But if you ask Google, the ticket should go to them.

From The Atlantic:

"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.

It gets a whole lot wonkier from there. Go read Madrigal's story, where he talks about everything from DMV rules to the concept of personhood.