According to Forbes, Google's development of a self-driving car could create trillions in economic impact. But, interestingly, not all will benefit.
Although autonomous cars could one day make us all safer and more efficient, certain industry sectors could see major economic side effects. For example, the auto industry would suffer once people only require one vehicle per family (as vehicles could conceivably be summoned remotely). In addition, hospitals would take in fewer patients, insurance companies would see car-related claims plummet and municipalities would collect far fewer traffic fines.
As reported by Forbes: Just in the U.S., the car puts up for grab some $2 trillion a year in revenue and even more market cap. It creates business opportunities that dwarf Google's current search-based business and unleashes existential challenges to market leaders across numerous industries, including car makers, auto insurers, energy companies and others that share in car-related revenue.
The fact is that autonomous cars would reduce a lot of waste in today's transportation landscape. But as much of the economy depends on these inefficiencies, there would need to be a way to roll out these autonomous cars in a slower, more organic way.