Really? Then please explain to me why most of my fellow motorists complain about their cars computer system giving them faulty readings? My wife's 2013 Ford Explorer XLT tells her it needs a oil change when that maintenance is performed regularly well within the scheduled time frames. Today I used it to go to our local Post Office. The true outdoor temperature was 4 degrees yet the car's computer system was telling me it was 39 degrees. My neighbor's car's check engine stays lit all the time. He's taken it back to the dealer several times times to no avail. The flight recorder of Asian Flight 214 revealed during the last 2.5 minutes of the flight there were multiple auto pilot modes and multiple auto throttle modes but it did not reveal if those modes were commanded by pilots. Sounds like more testing and redundant systems are needed.
Cost. That's the explanation. Right now, truly redundant and reliable systems cost *money* - though the price is always coming down. I'll go one further for you. Those complaints that you mention? Cheap parts and not enough testing. Remember, Ford let out cars they KNEW were hazards on the road. I, too, had a CHeck Engine light that never went out that the dealership could never fix. Not until I went to ANOTHER dealership did they bother to look deeper into the problem and discover a melted wiring harness too close to the exhaust manifold giving faulty data to the engine computer.
Those electronics *stink on ice*. But there's better stuff coming and the reliability gets better. It's all in how important the system is. Do you think that outdoor temperature sensor is tested the same way the anti-lock brake system is? Of course not.
If I look into my crystal ball, I think you're going to see auto-piloted *electric* cars happen sooner or in greater numbers than 'conventional' cars. Cars like the Tesla Model S have FAR fewer moving parts - far fewer things to break and, subsequently, far fewer factors to keep track of. Those auto-pilot systems are VERY expensive right now. Google's uses LIDAR, if memory serves, and Tesla's Elon Musk isn't sure that'll ever come down in price enough to get mainstream adoption.
Oh - and those trouble-prone cars that I had? All American. Pieces of crap from GM (Pontiac, Olds, Chevy). I had a fairly long lasting Dodge because I was strict about maintenance but my Toyota has put them all to shame. If Tesla can keep the quality going as they introduce their new 'car for the masses' in 3 years, I will happily go back to a domestic manufacturer.
It almost takes a complete re-thinking of what transportation and driving really is. Henry Ford once said "If I'd asked the public what they wanted, they would have asked for a faster horse" - and I think that's part of what we have here. We're so ingrained in the 'status quo' that our brains use confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance to shoo-away radical new ideas.
But that's why I referenced the insurance companies. They're the ones that have crunched the numbers and (with government help sometimes) gotten almost universal implementation of anti-lock brakes, air bags, traction control and other technologies dating back to seat belts. I don't know how many people here remember that the old thinking was that being THROWN CLEAR OF AN ACCIDENT was considered 'safer' than wearing seat belts!
And that's where the push will come from. Over 300,000 miles of auto-piloted miles in those Google cars and not ONE SINGLE AT-FAULT ACCIDENT (as of August 2012, according to Google). For comparison, the statistics I can find say there were about 11 million accidents over the course of 3 trillion miles driven annually or 0.37 per hundred thousand. One professor stated that, when Google gets to 725,000 miles accident-free, they can make a conclusive claim that they're safer than human drivers. So it's coming. I don't know how much closer Google is to that 725K number but there haven't been any at-fault accidents in those cars (one accident was when the driver was 'on manual control' and the other was when the Google car was stopped at a red light and rear-ended by another car - you just can't do anything about that).