Humans are tool-makers and tool-users. Nobody can dispute that fact. But here's why so-called 'autonomous' cars, with no ability for the human occupant to drive it manually are a bad idea: Any vehicle is a tool. If you can't control the vehicle, and it goes where it decides it wants to go, then YOU are no longer using a tool, the tool is using you! Vehicles are also viewed as tools to enable personal freedom -- except, apparently, for Millennials, who somehow think that their smartphones and the Internet are 'freedom'; which, of course, is nonsense that's been drilled into them since birth.
They're going to keep pushing the whole 'autonomous car' thing. Whatever. But in order to keep the tool from using US instead of US using the tool, they MUST maintain a full set of manual controls, and we MUST still educate and train drivers, and you MUST be able to shut off the self-driving of any vehicle at the push of a button -- and it CANNOT override YOU when you do so. Period. Otherwise 'robotic overlords' isn't just a joke anymore; then we become the slave of the machines, instead of the machines we build serving US. That's the bottom line of that.
Furthermore, do any of you really want to live in a world where the following can (and WILL) happen:
o Governments deciding where you can and cannot go
o Hackers and criminals remotely hijacking your vehicle
o Hackers and criminals remotely sabotaging your vehicle
In a world where all there is inside a car is a seat and no controls (not even an 'emergency stop' button that is anything other than an input line to a computer, that can be ignored by software), these things WILL happen, guaranteed. Ask yourself: Is that the world you want to live in? I'd rather have traffic fatalities annually than live in a world where I'm so tightly controlled, that I may as well be a convict in a prison, or an animal in a zoo. We're already surveilled and data-collected within an inch of our lives, should we also be allowed to have our very movements restricted? I say no. So-called 'autonomous cars' won't make us more free, they'll make us LESS free, especially if we have no ability to manually drive them the way we have for a hundred years. All vehicles should always be built with a full set of unimpeachable manual controls for a human operator, and all human drivers should continue to be educated, trained, tested, licensed, and insured, just like always. It would be utter madness to do otherwise, and anyone who believes it should not be so is a fool.