It was indeed an interesting article. It raises some serious issues which, TBH, don't appear to have any simple solutions.
I'd be interested to know the numbers. It seems that when automatic pilots work they work very well. But when they fail things can go terribly wrong, for all the reasons gone into in the article. If these failures are rare enough though then a rational agent would accept the occasional catastrophe in return for a lower overall death rate.
The same could apply to cars. We live now with the loss of a few lives every day on the roads. Every single day. If we could put a stop to that would we accept an occasional case of some poor carload of people being handed the wheel when they were in no position to save themselves ? We might.
The argument is coloured by a factor which doesn't apply to planes though. When I get into a car I accept that today maybe five people will die in traffic. But I reckon that I won't be one of them because I am in charge of my own driving. So I won't drive beyond my capabilities nor will I put myself in a position where some other dork's stupidity/incompetence leaves me no way of avoiding death. It's this belief which, subconsciously perhaps, makes us so demanding of safety on public transport while cheerily driving around in our own much more dangerous vehicles.