By Philip Koopman and Michael Wagner
Self-driving cars promise improved road safety. But every publicized incident chips away at confidence in the industry’s ability to deliver on this promise, with zero-crash nirvana nowhere in sight. We need a way to balance long term promise vs. near term risk when deciding that this technology is ready for deployment. A “positive trust balance” approach provides a framework for making a responsible deployment decision by combining testing, engineering rigor, operational feedback, and transparent safety culture.