If that's true, I'll soon have my "who's laughing now" moment towards anyone who calls it stupid that I won't get my driver's license or invest in a regular car because of upcoming autonomous cars.
Looking back, it does feel odd to think that at one point (~2014) I thought I'd never actually need to get a driver's license because AVs were surely on their way. I wonder how many other people currently feel the same way. I want to make a thread on Futurist Impatience (with a better name, obviously), but it's most blatant in this case because of how useful cars are for people in modern society. It's like a high school freshman deciding not to get a job because robots are going to take all of them by the time he or she graduates college. That's a real bold strategy, Cotton.
If you're a lurker reading this thread getting excited about the thought of forgoing a driver's license because you'll have an AV in no time— stop reading this.
Don't inflate your expectations to the point where you think the apple tree will be fully grown the day after it sprouts. At no point in the next ten years will you not need a driver's license for medium-to-long distance travel unless you're willing to pay for bus, train, and ride-sharing fares. Now these means of transportation will likely see high levels of automation, especially the further into the 2020s we get. And I'm not saying that you won't be able to buy an AV— most major car manufacturers are chasing after the dream.
But there are many hurdles we have left to clear before we're able to make this a fully mainstream, widespread feature in vehicles. The soonest we can clear them and achieve Level 5 autonomy (i.e. 100% autonomy) will no strings attached for a fully commercial, fully private car/truck/SUV/whathaveyou that you own is likely not for another decade at the earliest. What Tesla has right now is Level 2 autonomy. What many car companies are aiming for in the short term is Level 4 autonomy. Right now, the best we have is Level 3 autonomy, and that's a damn expensive luxury. Think of each level as being exponentially more difficult to achieve, essentially balancing out exponential growth of computing power and AI capability.
By 2025, Level 3 autonomy will almost certainly be a common luxury in most new vehicles, if not already a standard, while Level 4 will be the expensive new thing. When Level 4 autonomy becomes a cheap luxury is when you can reasonably expect to never need a driver's license to sustain yourself in modern life.
2025 is still about 7 years off. Starspawn0 believes that Level 4 autonomy is close, but not immediately close.
So tldr, if you think that you're off the hook for getting a driver's license (or getting a job or a degree) anytime soon, turn off your brain for a while.