One of the many concerns that have been raised about a world of self-driving vehicles is that people will take advantage of the fact that a self-driving car will stop if you walk in front of it. Someone could dart onto a busy road, and as long as all the vehicles were self-driving, they wouldn’t have to worry about becoming an impromptu hood ornament. The vehicles would all stop and create a path for them, however inconvenient and abrupt the experience may be for their passengers. This type of behavior could become quite troublesome if everyone realized you could do this and abused the pedestrian-friendly algorithms and sensors.

I propose a simple solution. Penalize those who commit “Intentional Traffic Interruption.” The jaywalking ticket of the future. How would it be enforced? All of these cars have cameras anyway, and facial recognition technologies are already approaching (and, in some cases, surpassing) human-level accuracy. Simply use the onboard cameras to photograph the offender and send their picture to a police database to confirm their identity and send a fine to the offending person or persons. A first offense could be a $100 non-criminal offense. Just enough to dissuade someone from abusing the technology. It won’t stop everyone, but people jump out in traffic today even though the result could be far worse than losing a hundred bucks.