Here's what I think will happen. A bunch of big tech companies like Google and Apple etc. will get their buddies in the various legislatures to get them a Special Deal indemnifying them against fault when robot cars inevitably crash and kill people.
I've long been fascinated by the idea of technology replacing human drivers.
Let's be honest: people aren't always great drivers. They get distracted, tired and make mistakes. Technology can simply do a better job. This is a subject I've thought about deeply for the past 20 years. I believe it will have as much impact on the world as the switch from horse transport to automobiles.
The consensus opinion is that safe and reliable driverless cars will be available within a few years. Tesla just announced "Autopilot," which will be available soon via a software update, and will allow for autonomous driving on freeways – an amazing first step.
Here's what I think will happen next: the initial use of drive-anywhere autonomous cars (I call them AutoCars) will be with companies like Uber or Lyft rather than individually owned. They will rapidly gain acceptance because they'll save people time (imagine all you could do with that time currently spent behind the wheel), will lower the costs of getting from one place to another, and will be way faster while also being safer than human driving.
Which the robot cars will then do, a lot. Because, among other things, every cabbie, truck driver, delivery guy and union thug alive will be out to kill those things like you won't believe.
You know what else I don't see? Robot forklifts. I do not see self-guided, driverless forklifts whipping around in lumber yards, factories and warehouses. I see normal forklifts driven by very expensive union thugs, at a cost of who knows how many billions a year.