Killing the initiative will have nothing to do with accidental deaths. It will be killed by:
- an automotive industry that cannot survive the transition to a pay per use model for its product,
- the fuel industry, which makes much higher margins on consumer vs. fleet sales,
- and to a lesser extent by the taxi cartels in major metro areas.
The primary use case for a self-driving car is not to get you home when you're drunk, or let you join the "foot high club" on a road trip. Instead, self-driven vehicles are a mashup betweenand – cars that pick you up at your door within minutes, then go find their own parking space (or a new passenger) when you reach your destination. It frees the lower and middle class entirely from monthly car payments (okay, now banks hate the cars too), and reduces local government income from metered parking and yes, parking and moving violation fines (is there anyone left to love these awesome tech marvels?).
Long story short, they'll come, they will happen… But the level of disruption is so great, you can bet the self driving car will not be an America-first phenomenon – and even when it does get here, it will be the small to mid-sized rising metros, with fewer entrenched interests, that get them first.