Picture a future where you don’t own a car. Whenever you want to go anywhere, you start the app and request a ride. A car arrives, waits for you and takes you to your destination and leaves. This could be our future if Googles self driving car program is realized. This comes with several advantages.
The cost of car ownership will be shared. Travelling will basically become a larger taxi service. You will only pay for the cost of your ride and not for any unused time of the car. This is unlike modern taxi services where ride costs include the total cost of owning the vehicle. Because of nearly 100% utilizing of a vehicle the per mile cost lessons dramatically. This makes it cheaper than owning your own vehicle.
In a world where the majority of cars will be self driving, you can expect almost no accidents. The average number of vehicular deaths in the USA in the last few years has been close to 50000. This number can reduced by as much as 90%.
With better utilization of vehicles, there will be less cars on the road. This will means less or no traffic and better use of time. Now estimates of travel time will be much more accurate.
With less vehicles on the road there will be a lot less pollution. By the time autonomous driving is realized, fossil fuel based cars would have been phased in favour of electric or other more efficient and cleaner alternatives.
Thanks to autonomous cars, we will live in a safer, cheaper and cleaner world where we will arrive at our destinations of time.