Drivers should face backward

Jason Levine makes excellent points in his opinion piece about the advent of driverless vehicles (“Driverless car bill a disaster waiting to happen,” Dec. 18).

There are two points I'd like to make about what he wrote.

1. He states that the laws of physics make it safer for passengers to face the direction of travel (forward). Actually, the opposite is true. It's safest for everyone in the car to face backward in a seat with an effective head rest. The only reason people don't all face backward is a slavish devotion to traditional design on the part of the designers and the passengers.

2. He points out that human drivers have to take a driving test, and driverless cars don't. Actually, the people who develop the algorithms that control driverless vehicles test those algorithms in cars with safety drivers. Accidents happen when the safety drivers don't pay attention to safety. Perhaps the states can design a driver's test for algorithms and require that each new iteration of the algorithm pass the test before being licensed by the state.

Henry Farkas, Pikesville

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