Dear Honorable Representative Honda:
Silicon Valley needs an absolute immunity that limits damages for auto-driving cars to $10 million per death or injury.
Silicon Valley is looking for another trillion dollars worth of growth to fuel.Â One great idea is limited by the absence of barely-controversial legal framework.Â Â You could provide this framework, enable use to get back to work, make money, and make everyone happy.
Everyone includes the seed level start-ups based on Stanford’s historic win on the DARPA Grand Challenge auto-driving contest, the 40,000 Americans that die each year from accidents, and my six year old who is more danger from automobiles than any other source.Â Â The primary hold-ups are legal, not technical.
Good legislation would specify maximum damages, perhaps indexed to COLA.Â The maximum amount would need to include any payments for negligence, wrongful death, unsuitability, and fines among all possible parties from designers, software, manufacturers, and dealers.Â Having some maximum liability amount, any amount, means that companies can go build in liability and proceed.Â If the legislation only covered cars manufactured until 2030, that would be plenty.
One licensed driver in 5,000 currently dies from car accidents every year.Â Â If an American company reduces that number to one in 50,000, it should not be destroyed by the variability of the court system.
Please sponsor such a bill, which would likely be debated in your Appropriations/Commerce subcommittee.