More and more semi-autonomous cars cruise on the road every day, and yet the more time I spend testing these driver-assisted vehicles, the more I think that full autonomy may never, ever happen. A harsh look on all of this was first laid out all the way back in the 1960s, at the start of the first revolution in regulating vehicles and making them safer. Back in the decade that launched consumer product safety with books like Silent Spring and Unsafe At Any Speed, American regulators first started talking about cars not as a technology or a means of transportation, but as a public health crisis. Cars are, from the perspective of safety, a disease. They’re an outbreak run wild, killing tens of thousands of Americans every year—and the leading cause of death for teens, as noted by the Center for Disease Control. For us to combat this disease, we need to reduce the number of fatal car accidents on the road, and there aren’t a ton of possible ways of making that happen. … [Read more...] about What If Autonomous Cars Just Never Happen?