All true, but how much damage can be done before a pattern is established? I think that such insurance will be expensive at the outset. I think having manual controls in the event of a problem will reduce the cost of that insurance. I also hope that they avoid costly mistakes that could make this technology common in the distant future.
Still, while there are techniques to make releasing software as safe as it can be companies still find the need every year to perform a live network change. The issue might not exhibit itself in a small initial release, but be devastating (read kills people) once it reaches a larger audience. For example, the software works great in Sunnyvale, but in icy conditions in northern states cars spin out their traction control failing to account for it.
Furthermore, what about some malware attack that exploits a newly added hole. The insidious rogue code waits for a period of time to propagate using vehicle to vehicle communication then one day goes on a murderous rampage at noon on a Tuesday?
Everyone was out to lunch to get some wonderful tacos, but instead... vehicular armageddon ensues!
Well, that is a bit far out there, but I still don't envy the position of the insurance companies. Having a licensed driver at the wheel and override controls at the ready can mitigate much risk. I wouldn't feel comfortable in a car that lacked manual controls. I would also prefer that early adopters of this new technology be made to remain at attention and ready to take over or face a hefty citation. At least for five years or so until the technology had proven itself. If no death or serious damage to property occurs within such a time we could re-evaluate the idea that someone in the driver's seat must remain at attention. Removing override controls should take much longer.