As someone who relies heavily on driving services (like Lyft & sometimes Uber), self-driving cars are incredibly appealing to me. While this accident was minor, very minor, it does show that we're still a loooooooong way from it becoming a reality.
An artist can dream though.
Okay, so the actual Google Car involved in the accident was not their smart car prototype, but a big-ass Lexus SUV equipped with LIDAR...but really, the joke in the comic doesn't work without it being a cute little car.
Despite the continued technical and regulatory challenges, and despite the fact that we've made fun of Google's self-driving car in the past, I'm already quite sold on the idea of self-driving cars generally. The last time I got to ride in one was almost 4 years ago at Google, and even back then their driving program was way better behaved than your average California driver, at least on fast-moving freeways (apparently the slower residential areas are trickier).
It will take a lot more time to get the technology where it to needs to be, and even more time to convince regulators and the public at large of its safety, but really...at least for most American states, this is the closest thing we'll have to the dense railway networks of East Asia and Western Europe.