We are outsourcing the function of our prefrontal cortex to technology, the very thing that makes human. Wherever the technology addresses human laziness and takes a way of the tiniest decision making hurdle, it has a great commercial potential.
Self driving cars seem like a good idea, but thought of giving the control away is terrifying. Each of us is the best driver in the world. Even in a car, when I see someone grabbing the steering wheel from inside, or crossing their arms, I get afraid for my safety. Think about giving control to something that does not have eyes, no own-safety investment, family or other responsibilities.
Then there is a general public problem: People of the US can not even switch to much superior metric system, can not do anything about bad health and insurance system, almost non-existent maternity leave, long working hours, minuscule number of vacation days, and other things that the rest of developed world can not even imagine. Compare also US to the rest of the world’s public infrastructure, bad roads, ancient subway, cooper wire internet everywhere, and rail system that is 3rd world compared to France’s TGV, Eurostar, Shangai’s Maglev, Japan’s Shinkansen, Germany’s Transrapid, China’s 300mph CRH380A trains… I don’t see it self-driving cars happening anytime soon, especially if the kick-start is attempted in USA.
Self driving car is in the direct competition with VR and AR systems. Both may reach maturity in about 10 years, and knowing humans’ lazyness… going to work to a AR/VR office from the comfort of your home versus traveling to work in even the most sophisticated robo-car is actually no decision at all. Add to it that most of us love driving and self driving car is a really tough sell.
This year will be make or break for VR once companies try to take money from the people. Everyone has high hopes and most of us early adopters are a bit disappointed with what has been presented so far in VR. It may end up as 3D TVs.
You did not mention HoloLens, which has a great potential here without VR motion sickness, no issues with latency or resolution.