I'm also a computer guy from way back (also wrote code on PDP-11s, DEC and Data Generals early on) and I'm very skeptical about self driving cars. They are still having, what I consider major, issues with just the auto braking systems of cars, even on the high end Teslas. Car and Driver just did a comparison of several and the results were not impressive. Some have many false alarms (i.e. brake for no reason) and none work at highway speeds (which is why Teslas keep crashing into stopped vehicles/barriers at high speeds). Now in their defense, these systems aren't designed to work at higher speeds but this is partly due to the increased cost as they would need more computing power to figure out what the real world situation was and so it could respond.