Oh, for Pete's sake!
This is a lousy article - possibly the worst I've ever read on El Reg. What we have here is an author who has already made up his mind and is desperate to find any argument to use against the idea, no matter how weak, rather than a reasoned assessment of the technology taken to its logical conclusion. And to be honest, complaining about the possibility of improving mobility and freedom for the physically and visually disabled is pretty offensive!
This is a prototype of a new and game-changing technology. All the points made and more need to be worked out, no-one is denying that, but how about exploring the real impact that such vehicles might have - for better or worse - as they are gradually introduced into the real world, improving all the time. What might life be like in 20, 50 or 80 years time? Think how much better life could be if the two hours a day I currently spend driving to and from work - sometimes with my mind on other things, no matter how good my intentions are - could be spent starting work during the commute, reading a book, calling friends, doing anything within reason! Properly managed, this could reduce congestion, shorten journey times, improve efficiency and boost safety. None of this will happen overnight, but if we work hard it will probably get there.
And no, I don't like the idea of giving up the right to drive my own vehicle, but surely a reasonable compromise can be worked out and the potentially huge benefits are worth some sacrifice? Every disruptive change is just that - disruptive, but after the pain comes the real benefit. The industrial revolution was a bugger for those that lived through it and lost their livelihood, but I'm glad it happened!