The vision of many of us for self-driving cars is a world of less private car ownership and more use of self-driving taxis.
That’s what companies like Uber clearly are pushing for, and probably Google, but several of the big car companies including Mercedes, Ford and BMW among others have also said they want to get there.
In this world, what does it cost to operate these cars? How much might competitive services charge for rides? How much money will they make? What factors, including price, will they compete on, and how will that alter the landscape?
Here are some basic models of cost. I compare a low-cost 1-2 person self-driving taxi, a higher-end 1-2 person self-driving taxi, a 4-person traditional sedan self-driving taxi and the costs of ownership for a private car.