Gene Marks @ Forbes: Driverless car is a product without customers. It’s Google assuming that someday someone will actually buy a driverless car. Not a hobbyist or an eccentric millionaire. But a customer who actually needs or desires a driverless car. Someone who, given the choice of spending $30K on a car that they fully control and can go anywhere they want at any speed they want – or another, likely more expensive buggy that will only travel on certain routes at slower speeds and with less options. Hmm, which car would you buy?
For driverless cars to work, to decrease congestion, increase safety, reduce lawsuits and lower our insurance premiums everyone would have to be driving one. Every road and car in the country would have to accommodate some sort of technology or sensor. The only way this would happen is if the government mandates the technology (similar to the government mandating rear view video cameras in cars starting in 2018). And for the driverless car system to truly work as desired, there would need to be more centralized control over our entire transportation system, from the roads and highways to the cars we’re allowed to use, the speed we’re allowed to travel and the places we’re allowed to go. This, in the very country where the majority of the population fights against government regulations, red tape and bureaucracy.