The biggest thing for the near future is auto-cars, which will change everything… The costs are there right now. The Google car actually was cost-effective. Think of no traffic congestion, highways that can hold 30 times as much traffic. Half the energy costs. It just goes on and on. The only issue is how powerful will be the Luddites.
[The chief objection of the Luddites will be] the Schumpeterian creative destruction of entrenched interests. For example, every Teamster, cab driver, UPS driver, all these drivers will need to be retrained. Insurance will drop to a fraction of what it costs now. People don’t understand how horrible the average driver is. The number of body shops will be 20 percent of today. It’ll be disruptive, and they will not go away without a fight. Of course, bars will do a great business because drunk driving will be OK.
The first phase will be to keep the seat belts and seats facing forward. After a while the passenger compartment will become a more communal experience, with a table, a desk, a video screen, etc. Think about being dropped off at a restaurant and the car parking itself a mile away for $3. In San Francisco, as I remember, it’s currently over $20 for parking.