Driverless Car Challenges→

Vox:

Consider: If there were only AEVs [Autonomous Electrical Vehicles] on the road (along with bikes and pedestrians), then the full benefits of AEVs would be unlocked. All vehicles would not only be “smart,” they would be communicating with one another, acting in concert. Serious accidents would fall to virtually nil.
Bikes and pedestrians would remain somewhat unpredictable and might cause a few accidents. But AEVs driving among other AEVs could be much, much lighter, and they would move more slowly through crowded spaces, so there would be nothing like the terrible toll of today’s traffic.
But if there are even a few heavy, fast internal combustion vehicles piloted by human beings on the road — say, 10 percent of traffic — then the benefits of AEVs drop sharply. For one thing, to meet safety standards, they have to be up-armored against collision with very heavy vehicles, which in turn makes them much heavier, reducing their range and flexibility.

A good analysis of some of the problems with the transition period inherent in a sea change like the driverless car.