Here is some interesting research by the RAND Corporation looking into whether ti is practical to demonstrate the safety and reliability of autonomous vehicles by test-driving them prior to releasing them for public use.
- Driverless cars would need to be test-driven for an impractically large number of miles in order to demonstrate reliability
- It could take tens and even hundreds of years to complete this testing and therefore test-driving is not practical for demonstrating autonomous vehicle safety
- Developers of driverless car technology will need to develop other methods to demonstrate reliability and safety and even then uncertainty is likely to remain
- Regulations for driverless cars should remain flexible in order to manage the risks and uncertainty around their reliability