Eric Schmidt, despite having a less active role in Google than before, he still has a key role in many of the company's public dealings, including brushes with lawmakers and regulators of various sorts. During a recent speech in South Korea, Schmidt was asked about the possibility of self-driving cars leaving the United States. In response, he told the crowd that testing is planned for the near future in the U.K. after one of the country's higher-ups gave Google the green light to begin looking into possible testing grounds. Before any testing can take place, however, applicable local laws need to be attended to and accounted for, if not made.
The difficulty and time investment involved in getting regulatory approval to put self-driving cars on the road in a given area has always proven to be a bit of a roadblock, with the story in some places ending better than in others. Dances with regulators come with the territory when attempting to essentially uproot the worldwide transportation industry, of course, but these difficulties can make pushing into new areas quite a headache, since they have to get approval for each individual territory they roll out the technology in for testing. Schmidt, however, was confident that the self-driving car project will prevail in the end, saying that "..you will all be in a self driving car in some form or another." He also cited the fact that self-driving car "…has better vision than you, it can see 360 degrees, and it doesn't get drunk. So that has to be an improvement."
In over a million miles of test driving thus far, Google's cars have only potentially caused one wreck, although there is debate as to how culpable the self-driving car A.I. may have been in the low-speed and relatively low-damage collision. One issue, however, is that the cars drive a bit too well and people, being human, can't seem to stop crashing into them. Talks have been on the table for a while now as to how to alleviate this, with some even going as far as proposing that the self-driving cars be taught to commit traffic violations.