"The other one is an unfounded and as-yet unsupported belief that autonomous vehicles will eliminate traffic deaths and accidents."
Not eliminate. Reduce.
It's a reasonable expectation I think. Long term, anyway. Autonomous cars probably aren't going to speed, run red lights, try to beat trains to level crossings, etc, etc, etc. Yes, there will be a large number of accidents -- some serious, some fatal -- while the cars learn to recognize open manhole covers, moose, hand lettered signs that say "BRIDGE OUT". But learn they will.
It'll be interesting to see how "Silicon Valley" folks handle a domain where they are successfully sued for the damages caused by their screw-ups. Because they ARE going to be sued. And they are going to lose a lot of those suits. My guess is that they are not going to like it.