I don see this ever happening...the possibility of lawsuits from software or hardware crashes resulting in car crashes, property damage and deaths will never let this industry get off the ground
It'll happen. And sooner than you think.
The folks at google have undoubtedly thought of all of the potential gotchas, legal and otherwise. Production cars will probably contain redundant systems that will push reliability off the charts.
Legislatures can tackle the software defect problem ~ but remember how far the Democrats got with trying to scare us about 'a million lines of code'? Sorry ~ we are too sophisticated to worry that much about code ~ these systems will all have substantial redundancy.
Just give me a reliable targeting algorithm, some radar and infrared, an updated travel~pak and I'll be out there driving blind in no time.
The only problem I can see is the transition period where we have a mix of automated vehicles and those with nothing but a human being behind the wheel.