Before long, self-driving cars will deliver a lot of benefits. First and foremost, they’ll increase safety. Accidents won’t be eliminated, but surely will produce better results than humans, who play an outsized role in the 30,000 fatalities in US roads. They’ll also increase productivity—work in the car!—and perhaps even let you sneak in a nap.
Not everyone is looking forward to the age of autonomy, though. One potential loser? Local governments.
Once the car’s in charge, it’s a safe bet we won’t do things like speed, run reds, park illegally, or drive drunk. And that means we won’t be fined for doing those things. That’s going to put the squeeze on city budgets, according to a Brookings Institution report.