âoeWe canâ(TM)t fail an applicant for not being able to navigate a traffic circle if they say that there [sic] vehicle canâ(TM)t yet do it.â
They had no trouble failing me for not being able to navigate certain traffic situations correctly on my first drivers test. Had I said, well "I can't do that yet" that would not have resulted in a pass.
So the car failed. Let it fail. Its no big deal that it failed. Constructing an illegitmate pass for headlines just stirs pointless controversy.
This test shows that there's lots of good progress, but that's it.
As for driverless cars actually being ready ? No where near close.
Requiring the driver to be ready to jump in while in action is absurd to the point of not even considering it.
Stopping the car, and handing the controls over is still going to lead to tons of problems. Cars stopping at railway crossings and round abouts and then just sitting there jamming traffic... because the driver fell asleep 30 minutes ago. (And why SHOULDN'T the driver fall asleep -- he's tired, bored, and not doing anything... what do you expect will happen)
Until self driving cars reach the long term goal of being responsible for driving in basically anything a human is currently expected to cope with they can't rise to being more than a novelty, or some limited highway auto-pilot cruise control system.
Because even if it CAN usually handle the daily commute, if it can't handle it ALL THE TIME its a bad idea.
Today when there's snow in a city that doesn't get snow that often its a mess. And that's with mostly drivers who drive every day, know the route they are going like the back of their hand, know where the tricky / problematic spots are etc, and know know how their cars handle at least in normal conditions. And its a mess.
Now, lets substitute that with a city full of drivers who only drive 3 - 4 times a year, are completely out of practice, have no real experience with their car, and only have a general imprecise sense of the route they need to take -- and lets do that on a day the self driving cars collectively decided they can't handle the conditions.
That would be like me driving my grandmother around every day everywhere she needs to go, and then when the weather is at its worst... "Hey grams, yeah, I know you've only driven this car a handful of times yourself in the last 5 years, but your license is still valid, so how about you take the wheel today?". And doing that accross an entire city.
Yes, that will work out well.