My guess is that, at least initially, a driver will be required to be in the drivers seat at all times ready to override any actions taken by the car
At which point, WTF is the point of the self driving car?
If I need to be paying attention every second in case the computer does something stupid (and need to be able to anticipate every point at which it could do something stupid), it will require as much or more attention as if I was driving anyway.
I have no interest in a self driving car, and I certainly wouldn't pay for the privilege. If I wanted that, I could take the bus or the train.
I just don't see people actually wanting this technology, and since we'll never convert all of the cars on the road to this system, it means at best a fraction of your cars are self driving and playing by one set of rules -- while the rest of your drivers are doing the same random shit they do now.
This has always struck me as a technology which nobody actually wants.
It's like so many of these 'futurist' things which are impractical, will be too expensive, and which will never happen. This is a research project which might have some applications
As Joshua Shaffer said... there are many, many people who have 45+ minute commutes. Those commutes could be spent doing leisure activities, chatting with friends/family, doing work, or even sleeping. It would also open up more people to taking longer commutes because that time is no longer wasted driving a car. Finally, you wouldn't even have to OWN the car. A pool of cars could be shared by people with dissimilar schedules.
I spent $80 on a 64gb SSD and I use it with SRT as a cache for my 2TB HDD. I have a lot of programs and games. It's easy to fill up a 200GB SSD with games, applications, and windows, and you shouldn't fill it past 80% anyway.
For less than half the cost, I get to have the SSD feel for *everything*. I also don't have to spend any time to manage it. Do I care what data is where? No. Just put it on my large drive and it works. Tests have shown that SSD caching provides very similar performance to a dedicated SSD, and I notice it. I would definitely recommend anyone to give it a try.