Opinion: Self-Driving Vehicles Need a Reality Check

“Ever since the Uber accident (in Arizona that killed a pedestrian), the tone has changed and people are asking tons of questions,” Salesky, 39, said in an interview Wednesday at Argo’s engineering center roughly a mile south of Ford World Headquarters. “It was a catalyst, a reset point.”

It also represented a stiff dose of the real world, a bracing confluence of engineering, human fallibility and unsuspecting folks forced to live with the consequences of the actions of others. Here’s a sampling:

Widely touted federal legislation to speed development of self-driving vehicles remains stuck in Congress, with scant prospect of moving into first gear. The inaction is forcing states and cities to adopt guidelines, if not standards, to both encourage and monitor the use of self-driving vehicles. But the need for federal standards remains.