Let's introduce something that no one wants, no one is willing to pay for and, on top of that, may not be perceived as being safe.
Try to imagine introducing autonomous vehicles to a skeptical public that doesn't know how to react to these newfound gadgets. It's going to be tough.
Sure, there is a built-in market for self-driving cars among elderly and disabled people. Owner-operators of semis are another natural for these vehicles.
But what about the millions of people who are in the market for transportation but want no part of autonomous vehicles? Those people will need to be sold and sold hard.
The manufacturers of these vehicles will have to get their message out in a very persuasive way, and indeed, they should have already started. This is going to be a real challenge for advertising and marketing executives, maybe the greatest challenge of their careers. They will be marketing a product that most folks are not willing to pay for at any cost.
I'm sure it will be possible to convince some people that they really want autonomous vehicles, but it will take some great marketing and a lot of patience.
This reminds me of the situation surrounding airbags a few decades ago. Back then, most of the PR surrounding airbags was bad. Car companies were doing everything they could to convince us that they were a bad idea.
This time, it is different. The car companies, including new players in the industry, are wildly enthusiastic about autonomous technology. They are investing billions of dollars developing the vehicles without any guarantee that folks will buy them.
It will be fascinating to watch the creativity that will go into telling us that we really do want self-driving vehicles.
As I have said, the sooner car companies get some of these autonomous features on their existing cars and trucks, the easier it will be to sell a reluctant public on autonomous vehicles.
But as always, time will tell.