Inside 10 years most people will travel using autonomous taxis, simply because it will be much cheaper, safer, more convenient and more fun than driving your own vehicle. In fact the days of driving your vehicle are nearing an end, and driving your own vehicle will soon be regarded in much the same way as we regard people who ride horses today. It will become a hobby for the wealthy.
For the rest of us we will be able to order up an autonomous taxi using a mobile, and we will have options of just travelling alone or sharing the ride with others. Ride sharing will cost only a fraction of travelling by oneself, and this will cost only a fraction of travelling by a normal taxi. The driverless car revolution isn’t just about technology – it’s about society too.
This means that a lot more people will be able to afford to travel by car, and hence it also means that there will be a lot more traffic on the road, although there will technically be less cars in use simply because the cars there are there are being used all day, and not just simply spending 95% of the day parked either at home or in a car park at work.
For all the fact that there may be more people travelling by car, the autonomous taxi will also be very intelligent, including being networked with all the other autonomous taxis in the same area. This will mean for example that the taxi network will inform all the other vehicles in the network where there are hold ups and congestion, and similarly when there is congestion the taxis will be able to drive safely in a closed convoy and much faster than humans could do so. It will be perfectly safe for a 100 vehicle convoy to be traveling at 100 km per hour and separated by 1m between vehicles, simply because the entire Conroy will be under the control of the vehicle in front.
The accident rate will be at least 10 times less than it is today, because virtually all the normal driver errors will be eliminated, and because the autonomous taxi will be able to be a better driver in emergencies then the average driver. A modern car with autonomous features such as the Tesla even today is significantly safer then the rest of the fleet, simply because it is able to respond much quicker and more reliably to emergency situations then the average driver.
The cool thing about the autonomous taxi network is that the passengers will be free to work will communicate or be entertained and what they watching TV while they are travelling, which means that the normal commute will be a lot less stressful and and potentially a lot more productive. The autonomous taxi will be connected at the very minimum by 4G mobile and most probably by 5G mobile, which means that the passengers will have fibre optic speed broadband into the vehicle. It is totally plausible that most commuters will treat the commute as the best time to do the normal private work that is necessary at the beginning of each day.