- safety--cars being safer than human drivers (who don't drink or text)
- useful--cars that aren't slow because too cautious, perhaps requiring regulatory changes.
To me it seems they're setting the bar too high. Going back to the Innovator's Dilemma new technologies evolve by finding a niche from which they can expand gradually, making use of the learning curve to reduce costs so existing technology can be undersold and to become useful in new ways. I think that applies here, as I've said before:
- a geezer like me isn't as safe a driver as the average person, even though we know enough not to drink or text.
- a geezer like me is already a cautious driver, so making a driverless car that abides by the speed limits is not disrupting the norm (for us).
- a geezer like me values driveability higher, highly enough to pay a premium to preserve the ability