Last week on this page, my European colleague Luca Ciferri wrote about data and what it's really worth.
Maybe we should be equally worried about Big Brother and how much intrusion we are going to allow, not to mention all the debate about who owns the information that is being generated.
I am not talking about how your credit card tells someone what you bought at the local grocery store. That's another issue. In today's automobile, there are chips that are recording all sorts of information before and during a crash. Did the airbag deploy? What was the steering wheel angle? Were the brakes used? All sorts of information that your lawyer or their lawyer or prosecutor would love to know.
Now let's fast-forward to your highly automated vehicle. It will tell someone everything about the car's driving habits and whether you were even driving. The court system as well as the lawyers are going to have a field day trying to figure out who's at fault. My guess is that no one's insurance company is going to agree to cover you and your autonomous vehicle.
Right now, the industry is hellbent on introducing and selling these vehicles. In fact, General Motors this month said it has begun testing a fleet of autonomous Chevy Bolts. I doubt that GM dealers and customers are ready.
We still don't know who wants to buy these vehicles. Nor do we know how much the customer is willing to pay or how much the manufacturer is going to charge. There are certainly plenty of questions to answer long before the first dealership delivers the first vehicle.
And after the first, inevitable crash, there will be a long, drawn-out fight in the courts to determine who's at fault. It will end up in the Supreme Court. Who knows if they will come up with an answer?
We are heading into a lot of uncharted waters. There will be a lot of sorting out before we figure it all out.
All we want to know is, whose fault is it anyway?