Like many ideas, I think self-driving cars will be really neat - right up till the moment the government begins to punish us for wanting to drive ourselves.
Ironically, back in the 1960s, when they were just inventing motorized wheelchairs, there were predictions that soon walking would become obsolete, because it would be so much easier to just ride.
A critical issue is that such vehicles will displace millions of people who now earn a living driving.
More and more jobs, at higher and higher required intelligence levels, are being filled by computers instead of people. Cost and reliability are enormously better.
But what are we to do with the millions of people who are displaced? Up till now, the Luddites have been generally proven wrong. But there is no scientific law that this will always be the case.
The big question facing our society, and one almost nobody mentions, is what do we do with redundant people. Those people for whom there is no economic demand. Their number is increasing, as is the rate of this increase. Extrapolate that out a few years and it becomes frightening.
American Plains Indians were free and proud peoples till confined to reservations. By any rational standard they are much better off economically now than when they were nomadic. (Nomads, by definition, own only the stuff they can carry on horseback, which isn’t much.)
But the free Indians had a purpose and role in life they don’t have now, so alcoholism, drugs and despair dominate many of the reservations. No purpose, no roles, no self-respect. Same in the underclasses of USA and UK. Nobody is starving, but social pathologies run amok.
What do we do with the people who have no role in society?