Within 10 years it will be absolutely commonplace and accepted to travel anywhere in most cities and between both cities using an autonomous electronic taxi, and ordering a taxi via your mobile. It will be around 10 times cheaper to travel this way then by driving your own near new vehicle, which of course needs to be paid off, needs insurance, needs constant refueling and regular expensive maintenance. An autonomous electronic taxi requires almost no maintenance aside from regular tyre replacement, and there’s refueled at around 10% of the cost of a petrol driven taxi.
An autonomous Taxi ride will be probably half the cost of owning and driving your own 10 to 15 year vehicle that is already fully paid off. Autonomous taxis will be very convenient and fun to use, and will explode into any market.
The impact on the local economy and population will be seismic in both a negative and positive sense, there’s a very large cost will be driven out of the economy and put a large amount of money back in the pockets of citizens, but also all of those employed in anyway in the petrol driven economy will be replaced. This transition will be very quick, will be extremely massive and well-being absolutely inevitable. Politicians may rail against the massive loss of jobs, but the service will be so popular amongst the general population, and the risk of falling behind other cities and economies is so great that politicians will be forced to make certain that the transition happens as quickly as possible. The financial benefits to the economy from the massive decrease in road accidents and the massive savings of costs for the population at large will make the transition two autonomous taxis very urgent.
The rate of improvement of autonomous driving technology is exponential, driven by both the exponential improvement it computer hardware and capability, and the exponential improvement in artificial intelligence software. A fully autonomous taxi service using an electric vehicle will be available in North America in the next 2 to 3 years, and the speed of rollout of the service across North America and the rest of the planet will largely be dictated by how quickly the manufacturers involved 10 scale up their manufacturing operation. While this massive scaling up will result in the collapse of a large number of the existing automobile manufacturers simply because of the massive stranded investment they have in the internal combustion engine manufacturing process, other manufacturers will step up and help to grow the market. Tesla is very well placed to be very dominant, simply because they are not burdened down with a massive Legacy infrastructure that will become stranded, and because they are as nimble has any of the best Silicon Valley companies in terms of developing and improving their products.