Q: You are driving down the street at 50 km/hr (30 MPH), with oncoming traffic on your left and parked cars on your right. Suddenly a child runs out from the gap between the 2nd and 3rd parked cars ahead of you. Do you …(a) swerve left?(b) swerve right?© hit the brakes?(d) hit the kid?
A: (d) hit the kid. Given average car length of 4.5 m (15 ft) and reaction time of ⅔ of a second, you won’t have time to do anything else.
OK, so self-driving cars may have even faster reaction time, but it’s still not instantaneous, and even with a super-fast reaction time, there’s still inertia to deal with. “A whole lot safer” is not the same as “perfectly safe”.