Doron Levin imagines where Google's self-driving car may lead:
Cars that don’t need drivers also may not need private owners since they could be summoned remotely and returned once their journey is complete. Why take on a lease if you can purchase a subscription to a car instead? Car owners who never want to spend a saturday under the hood or in the waiting room of a mechanic’s shop again might quickly adapt to a car subscription model.
Building off that thought, Felix Salmon suggests that this system could revive the electric car:
[O]ne of the big reasons why people are wary of electric cars is that every so often they want to take long car journeys which can’t be managed on a single charge. Up until now, the only solution to that problem is either to have a second, gasoline-based, car, or else to have a nationwide network of recharging stations which in any case are likely to take far too long to recharge the battery.
Car subscriptions would be a much better solution. You use an electric car most of the time, and then when you need something with greater range, you just swap it out for one of those instead.