I think once self-driving cars hit the mass market that we are in store for a major transportation revolution. I predict driving will definitely become much safer, and most people won’t own a car. Perhaps they will participate in a scheme similar to what BIXI has done with bikes. Why own when you can rent a car that will drive to you the moment you need it?
Gordon Price speculates further:
Say goodbye to the taxi industry. And goodbye to the bus, say some, forecasting the end of transit.
Not at all, counters transportation blogger Jarrett Walker: the sheer amount of space required makes the prospect impossible – at least in compact centres during rush hours. The world may stratify into two modes: high-volume rapid transit and driverless vehicles. Plus walking and cycling for short-trip commuting and recreation.
Will driverless vehicles, however, encourage even more sprawl?
Maybe not. Think about the impact on the vast amounts of parking currently required. Who needs parking lots when the cars are in close-to-continual motion, especially when there are dramatically fewer of them needed to serve the population?
I am very much looking forward to seeing how this technology will play out over the next 10 to 15 years. Will we see the end of public transportation as we know it? Car ownership? Only time will tell.