As things stand, fully autonomous vehicles are still a thing of the future with automakers each racing to develop the first one. While it may make things more convenient for most users, there are still some questions to be asked regarding autonomous vehicles before they start plying the streets. One such question asked by Bloomberg is how autonomous vehicles should interact with law enforcement.
Bloomberg reported that back in 2018, California Highway Patrol Officers chased down an intoxicated driver who fell asleep behind the wheel of a Tesla Model S with the Autopilot mode engaged. It led to a seven-minute long chase along the expressway until police were able to box in the Tesla, forcing it to stop.
Now, the Tesla in question wasn’t even a fully autonomous vehicle yet, but it still proved to be an issue for authorities in making it stop. What more if the car was a fully autonomous vehicle? This then brings up the possibility that future self-driving vehicles could be programmed to have a function wherein they will automatically pull over or move to the right (or left, depending on which country you're driving in) if the vehicle detects flashing police lights or emergency vehicles behind it. To date, this is a feature that autonomous-driving startup Waymo has already rolled out in their vehicle tech.
While the idea of an autonomous vehicle automatically moving aside or pulling over sounds like a great idea, there might be some legal repercussions. More so, not everyone will be happy knowing that police will be able to give instructions to their vehicles to pull over automatically, among many other potential things.
For the time being, it is unlikely that any regulation will be rolled out. However, automakers should be able to have solved this issue before fully autonomous vehicles start rolling out.