The Fatal Flaw of Semi-Autonomous Vehicles

Imagine that you own a semi-autonomous vehicle.  You purchased the vehicle months ago and each time you put the vehicle into autopilot mode, the vehicle drives safely.  Your semi-autonomous vehicle’s ability to drive safely and (perhaps) better than you has made you over-reliant on and have overconfidence in the technology’s ability, causing you to have automation bias.  Thus, today you decide that on your morning commute you will read a book while your vehicle makes the same drive on the highway.   Today, however, your semi-autonomous vehicle encounters a firetruck parked on the highway while traveling at 65 miles per hour.  Your semi-autonomous vehicle fails to see the firetruck and smashes into the back of the firetruck.  You may have to imagine this situation happening to you, but an unlucky owner of a Tesla Model S did not have to imagine this situation when his Tesla smashed into a firetruck last week in California.