While the possible benefits of increased safety, decreased stress and increased productivity for motorists are pretty exciting, self-navigating vehicles could prove especially transformational to human services transportation providers. These essential services provide low income, disabled and elderly residents access to jobs and service providers, though at a steep cost. Due to lower passenger volumes and longer travel distances, these services tend to have much lower farebox recovery ratios than conventional fixed route transit services. Automation could possibly lower labor costs, which could lead to service expansion and allow caretakers to focus more on their passengers rather than traffic.
Find out more about Google’s self-driving car project here.