Mike Sales wrote: ... It would seem plainly wrong to me to have robot drivers programmed to break the law. so speeding and running the engine whilst stopped would be eliminated? The black box would presumably be part of the control programme.
I quite see that "features" are meant to appeal to the buyer/driver, and would not be fitted to cars in order to sell them, but self-driving cars designed to break the law would surely be illegal.
Is being overtaken such a humiliation for a motorist that a swanky driver would instead choose an old car? What a dilemma.
If you check back through the stuff on here about self-drive cars, there was something about the people marketing them lobbying for them to be "allowed to keep up with the traffic" - always dressed up with safety reasons, of course, but the short version was driven by marketing.
Let's remember that speed limits are a pretty blunt instrument for trying to keep traffic to an appropriate speed. If all motor traffic was driverless, with every motor vehicle able to communicate with all the others, then, in the absence of other road users they could routinely drive much faster. The absence of other road users is the biggy. IMO, you can either concentrate on safe vehicles eg so a pedestrian looking as though they might step off the pavement brings traffic to a standstill, or you go for safe roads: roads largely reserved for autonomous vehicles and others with separate provision.
I think the marketing needs of the motor industry will prevail.