n its most recent monthly self-driving car report, Google notes that it hasn't set a timeline for rolling autonomous vehicles out to the public in any real way — there are still plenty of kinks to iron out — but it does say that "project lead Chris Urmson's goal is to make sure his 11-year-old son doesn't need to get a driver's license." Presumably, that means that Urmson would like to see these cars have a real impact within five years, when his son is 16.
You can debate the realism of putting fully autonomous cars in actual customers' hands by 2020 — that seems optimistic, considering the regulatory hurdles and technological challenges that remain — but there's another issue at hand: what about this parent's hope that his child never has to drive? The notion sparked a heated debate in the Verge newsroom. Is it reasonable? Is it realistic? Is it fair to the child?