The sensors, AI (artificial intelligence), and the technology that makes autonomous vehicles possible without doubt can greatly enhance safety. But what autonomous vehicles will never be capable of is the human judgment that can only be learned from experience from actually ‘driving the route’ in dealing with ever changing and unforeseen situations. Not something a computer geek can program into a fully autonomous vehicle.
Even if the autonomous vehicle is being monitored from a remote location, a remote operator, not actually being present on vehicle or on the scene, cannot make a reliable evaluation of a situation and therefore cannot make sound judgments anywhere near as well as a human vehicle operator.
Prohibit all self-driving or remote controlled school buses to operate on any public roadway or cross over any railroad tracks without a person, with the appropriate qualifications and license of the same type as required to drive a non-autonomous school bus, being in the vehicle and capable of immediately taking over full manual control of the bus in situations deemed necessary to prevent loss of life or limb or prevent damage to property.
The legislation would provide for the enforcement; provides civil penalties; and preempts home rule.