Many questions need an answer before AVs arrive. Some examples provide a starting point.
Is an AV involved in breaking traffic laws malfunctioning or “violating”? Should officers stop these vehicles, or should a technical system identify when one malfunctions and violates established rules of the road?
How will officers know if a human or an autonomous system operates a vehicle involved in a violation? Does it matter in terms of
justification for a traffic stop?
Should speed limits, stop signs, traffic lights, and highway markings apply to AVs?
How will officers stop an AV with no human driver behind the wheel? A complex system of cameras, sensors, and computer software control these vehicles. Without a human operator, safely conducting a traffic stop—for whatever reason—could prove challenging.
What rights do passengers in an AV have when stopped by the police? How will AVs impact drug and other criminal interdiction efforts? Will police agencies deploy AVs in some way? How?